Although his grandmother, whom he never met, had been known to occasionally break out the fiddle during a late night session, Jon Hughes came from an otherwise unmusical family. He wasn't introduced to a vast array of musical instruments in his toddler years (he found his first guitar at the age of twelve). He began writing songs and played mandolin in a bluegrass band for the few years that followed. His first album was released at the age of seventeen, a home produced collection of eight songs entitled Becoming Detailed. It was received warmly by the locals in his hometown in Wisconsin, USA, with anticipation for what would come next. Nine years later brings us to the present day in Galway, Ireland, with Hughes' latest release, Voices From A Broken Window. Voices From A Broken Window, a followup to what Hughes considers his first mature studio release, Physics Says (2007), explores themes of obsession, the growing impersonality of communication with technological advances, and the difficulties of measuring indelible memories against the inevitability of change. The sound can be described as alt-folk/alt-rock with a twist of psychedelic (think Nick Drake, Woody Guthrie set to the production of REM, The Velvet Underground, Wilco). Hughes' voice has been compared to Cat Stevens and Nils Lofgren of the E Street Band. While some of the songs on Voices From A Broken Window mark a return to the atmospheric and warm vocal sound of Physics Says, Hughes' approach to the production and composition of Voices From A Broken Window exhibits much more daring, with upfront, frenetic guitar lines that thread in and out of verses and choruses and thickly layered string arrangements that press down on the listener like large, daunting machines. At other moments, a theremin moans like a distant siren to the slow strum of an acoustic, and a harmonica swell brings out a few select notes on a warm piano. Like Physics Says, Hughes performed all the instruments on this album apart from the drums, which were performed by Dave Deane.
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