Onelinedrawing – Me And You Are Two

Onelinedrawing - Me And You Are Two

Onelinedrawing – Me And You Are Two

A lot of you may have encountered Jonah Matranga in one or more of his guises previously. A talented and hardworking musician, his list of collaborations with other musicians, bands and producers make for an interesting read on his Wikipedia page, where you can find out about his connections to artistes as diverse as Linkin Park, Lupe Fiasco, Taproot and the Deftones, alongside his own bands Far, New End Original and others. Plus there’s his occasional forays into film soundtracking – one of his songs featured in the 2008 film Dakota Skye.

So will we ever find out why on the sleeve of his newest release he appears to be getting somehow intimate with a well known science fiction character? The album title puns on the name of the robot, and if you look closely it is wearing a bandolier that says something about ‘record label’. Jonah’s Wiki entry hints at his own dissatisfaction with the music industry (although in fairness he hasn’t done too badly over the years) and it’s certainly a colorful introduction to his newest songs and indeed to himself.

Whether Jonah is indeed a very big Sci Fi buff or it’s just one of his favorite photographs, isn’t really the issue with You And Me Are Two. Its 11 songs reveal a defining optimism and yes he probably is a big Sci Fi fan, with 2nd track “Free” actually samples a ‘vocal’ from the well known robot while Jonah celebrates his own lack of boundaries – ‘I can jump in the air / I can roll on the ground’ and puts some of his darker moments behind him -‘even though he’s dead / I can talk to my dad’. It’s a refreshingly honest performance and made all the more poignant by Jonah’s total lack of cynicism. There’s a notable element of catharsis on all the songs that make up Me And You Are Two, Leonard Cohen influenced it isn’t.

As I listened to the album I slowly realised that one performer whose songs probably do influence Jonah Matranga is quite likely Jonathan Richman, with “No Hurry” and its questioning, questing tone as Jonah looks for love, “Fixtures” and its gently handled dissection of a failing relationship, and lastly “Sing”, an unaccompanied vocal with rhythmic interventions from foot tapping and hand claps ‘I don’t need a thing / to help me to sing’. Unafraid of falling into the box labelled ‘twee’ and enthusiastic and tuneful enough to give even his more simplistic lyrics an air of unpretentious depth, Jonah Matranga probably can get the entire room singing along with him, when he wants to. You might want to sing along too.