Album Review: Jonathan Wilson – ‘Gentle Spirit’

It's some of the most luxurious folk of the year

It’s never fair to prejudge a singer-songwriters by their titles, but with [a]Jonathan Wilson[/a]’s astonishing debut, full of tracks called things like
‘Ballad Of The Pines’ and ‘Canyon In The Rain’, the fact he’s a Laurel Canyon-leaning, old-guard LA acoustician is blindingly obvious. What you don’t get from the names, though, is quite how well he pulls off his CSNY, James Taylor and Matthews’ Southern Comfort-inspired grooves, chucking in healthy shakes of [a]Pink Floyd[/a], [a]Elliott Smith[/a] and sunset psychedelia to create some of the most luxurious folk of the year. As California dreamin’ goes, this is almost as good as heading for the hills, reaching for a hand-tooled native American bong and calling yourself Moon Unit.

Leonie Cooper