Jono McCleery – Tomorrow review

A new signing to Ninja Tune and a calm, soothing presence on a label better known for beats and breaks, Jono McCleery drops this impressive single ahead of his album Darkest Light later in the year. While Ellie Goulding made waves at the start of 2010 claiming to play a style she titled “future-folk”, McCleery is actually more appropriate for such a tag.

With fans already including singer Vashti Bunyan (who’s set to appear on the album) and folk-rock legend Danny Thompson, it’s clear “Tomorrow” will earn him many more very quickly. With acoustic guitar and sliding double bass played in a smart, minimal way in a brain teasing time signature, McCleery’s voice sweeps over the top and recalls Bill Withers in his prime. A mesmerising broken beat keeps time but no more, keeping the song free and breezy and allowing some beautiful washes of strings and other orchestral hits to wind their way through the song. It’s a soft and delicate song, but one that thankfully doesn’t fall into any of the obvious traps of cliché along the way. Just as good is “Alive Again” which features a fragile strumming along very jazz-influenced lines while McCleery’s voice huskily sits over the top while charging strings slowly build. Fans of John Martyn, Jose Gonzales and Nick Drake will clearly find to enjoy in Mr McCleery.

Oliver Keens