Jonas Bonnetta of Evening Hymns had trekked out to the Joshua Tree desert from nearby Los Angeles with a Super-8 camera when the spark arrived for his new album: "I had been listening to so much Tom Petty, and it kind of came to me that this record was a journey. A road trip album. A driving album."
When talking about writing the songs on Quiet Energies, out September 18th on Outside Music, he speaks of building and transformation, giving and bringing, and the velocity of time moving through us all. The thrust of the album would be "the concept that all of this pent-up energy could be stored inside these quiet moments - a whisper as effective as an explosion.”
Jonas had started writing and recording almost immediately after completing a tour across North America & Europe in support of his critically-revered 2013 album Spectral Dusk, a grief-stricken homage to the passing of Bonnetta's father in 2009. Jonas relocated to the Ontario country-side and transformed his isolated home into a recording space with guitar amps in the basement, drums in the stove room, and a Wurlitzer in the kitchen. Reunited with band members Jon Hynes on bass, guitars, backing vocals, Andrew Kekewich on drums, and longtime producer/engineer James Bunton, Evening Hymns crafted the new songs with the feeling of “moving on, but with a big dose of nostalgia.”
Lyrically, Jonas commands maturity on the poignant “Rescue Teams” reflecting 10-years later on one of the most turbulent periods of his life. "We ran the song many times and eventually James came into the room with tears down his face and that became his benchmark for the song. " Carving out livelier territory for the band, Jonas captures the velocity of his trip to the high desert on the evocative, plainspoken ripper "All My Life I Have Been Running" and with the punchy rhythms on "House of Mirrors". Elsewhere, the pastoral surroundings of his new home-studio inspired touches of sonic exploration on the piano-guided "Connect the Lines", with the haunting string-work of Mika Posen (Agnes Obel, Timber Timbre) mixed with field recordings of a river boat's steam-whistle departing Dawson City on the Yukon River – "a place I always dreamed of getting to, and a place my dad always wanted to visit. It was part of closing the loop on that journey."
The songs on Quiet Energies exceed Evening Hymns' promise of stunning immensity, possessed with the awakened momentum for accepting the irreconcilable: “I lost my dad's watch in the desert that day. I'm sure it's somewhere out there amongst the sand and boulders still ticking away.”