Sean Lennon

Off Your Radar

Last bit of catch-up for the week is about Off Your Radar — the weekly newsletter I’ve been writing for.

I haven’t been posting my blurbs because I’m hoping folks will subscribe, but I have to mention what happened last week. We all wrote about Sean Lennon’s Into the Sun album, which I really enjoyed getting to know. I especially enjoyed a jazzy track called “Photosynthesis” and spent all of my 200-some words extolling its virtues:

Forgive me — I have to freak out a minute about “Photosynthesis.” There are lots of jazz elements on Into The Sun, but “Photosynthesis” effectively hijacks the album for six and a half minutes and sends it into orbit. The bass line is just unconscionably, intensely groovy — the kind of pattern that begs to be sampled and repurposed. (Couldn’t find it on WhoSampled, so it’s not too late!) I could totally see it adorning a slow-mo sequence in a Guy Ritchie movie: gangsters in suits dragging some poor, bloodied soul into a room he’ll never again see the outside of. The other place I see it fitting is in a Radiohead song. Like someone gave the sheet music for the B-section of “Paranoid Android” to a jazz ensemble and said “Go nuts.” (Into The Sun was released while OK Computer’s massive wake was still rippling outward, so it’s not that hard to imagine that scenario actually playing out.) Maybe this will be more interesting to me than to anyone else, but it’s odd how, even though Sean Lennon has lived an international life — kindergarten in Tokyo, boarding school in Switzerland, college in New York — this one bass line pushed my mind toward two icons of late 90s British creativity. Is that because his father’s shadow was looming over him then, or because it’s looming over me now? Both, maybe?

What a thrill it was to find out via a really kind Twitter post that Lennon saw the newsletter and enjoyed it:

Sean Lennon tweet

Blew my mind. Cheers to Doug Nunnally for starting this thing — I’m really proud to be a part of it. Even prouder today, actually, because Doug just let us know that the incredibly insightful writer of AnEarful is joining up! Welcome, Jeremy — can’t wait to hear your thoughts each week!

Here’s that Sean Lennon track I loved so much:

Sean Lennon — “Photosynthesis” [YouTube]

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