Diorama of Life: J Fernandez – “Common Sense”

J Fernandez

“Common Sense”

Occasional Din

The press for J Fernandez starts out “Occasional Din is a sunny shoebox diorama for the eternal pessimist”.  I could not say it better myself.  Each of J Fernandez’ songs is a diorama of scenes in his life.  “J Fernandez started as the eponymous home recording project of Arkansas born Justin Fernandez, who came to Chicago in 2008 to work for map company Rand McNally.”  The fact that he actually worked for a map company makes sense, since his songs are maps to the inner soul.  I love J Fernandez’ work.  There is nothing normal about his work.  The music starts and stops, making the silence as poignant as the music.  Also, the change in key signature makes for a jarring entry into his world.  Listen to Occasional Din at night, outside, solitaire, and you’ll see what I mean.   As his bio says:

 Enlisting the mixing services of Cooper Crain (Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Circuit Des Yeux, Bitchin Bajas), along with utilizing instruments such as vibraphone and clavinet, Fernandez fleshes out the orchestration and flair for experimentation he began to explore in his debut. This also meant a diligent month-long search for a harpsichord which ended with him recording in a stranger’s basement.

This hard work is worth the beauty of the final product.

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