Jon Tessier – Skull Flower LP Review

Jon Tessier is somewhat of a journeyman.

Born in Brazil and raised in Malaysia, the dual national currently splits his time between Paris and Ibiza. In the age of the digital nomads and lifelong backpackers, Tessier is an artist who’s been there and done that all before.

Having played guitar in bands since his teenage years before electing to go it solo, Tessier released his first single, the album opener ‘Like the Sun’ in 2017. The five-track Slice of Paradise EP followed the next year, the positive reception to which paved the way for further singles. Tessier’s debut full-length, Skull Flower arrived this April, combining the prior releases and adding a number of new songs to his growing repertoire.

The album is a solid first output made up of ten tracks plus two live versions thrown in for good measure. Despite his continent-crossing background, Tessier’s influences are straightforward – he cites the Doors alongside Tom Petty as key heroes.

There’s an enjoyable variety to Tessier’s songwriting, from the slower, foot-stomping single ‘A Minute or Two’ to the joltingly raw riff of ‘Freak I Need’.

There’s an enjoyable variety to Tessier’s songwriting, from the slower, foot-stomping single ‘A Minute or Two’ to the joltingly raw riff of ‘Freak I Need’. There’s straight-up rock n roll in abundance in the form of ‘In My Veins’ and ‘Hold Me, Hold Me’. You can much better imagine the more emphatic numbers, such as ‘Summer Rain’, lighting up festival crowds in the muddy fields of England then the clubs of the Balearic Islands.

The simplicity of the lyrics is a good fit for what is, at its core, a pleasingly old-school rock record. There are songs of hell-raising, dancing all night, and of love, lust and longing.

Produced and mastered by Henry Sarmiento of Ibiza’s Sonic Vista Studios, ‘Skull Flower’ is well polished and put together. This a record we will definitely be spinning again this summer.

You can listen to ‘Skull Flower’ wherever you get your music via this link.

Luke began writing about music for his university paper while studying in England’s cold, post-industrial North. He became a regular reviewer of new releases, live shows, theatre and film, before moving to the big, grey blob of London. He has written indie and electronica reviews for indieBerlin since arriving in Berlin in 2017, while pursuing other freelance writing, editing and communications projects (and struggling to learn German). You can follow Luke here and read his recent reviews here.

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