A Pennsylvania native, Jones began performing in Georgia in the late ’90s before relocating to Nashville in 2000, which led to the recording of his debut album, Nowhere Else But Here. After six years of gigging and surviving, Jones finally released his profile-raising sophomore album, Throwing Punches in the Dark, which was followed by 2008’s Swallow the Sea, both produced by former Living Hands guitarist Neilson Hubbard. Swallow the Sea’s first single, “Save You,” became something of a breakout hit for Jones, not due to radio airplay, but from significant television placement, particularly on the season finale of cult hit Kyle XY.
In the intervening years, Jones has released a quartet of excellent albums, including 2012’s Land of the Living — influenced by Vincent Van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo, Federico Garcia Lorca’s musical concept of Duende and the writings of Persian poet/philosopher Rumi — and his latest work, The Waking Hours, which was released late last month.
For all of his incredibly broad literary inspirations, the source of The Waking Hours began a little closer to home; the album’s nine songs are ruminations on the time when Jones’ young daughters will fly the nest for lives of their own. Lyrically and sonically, The Waking Hours may be Jones’ most powerful and engaging album, an incredible feat for an artist with a catalog that is routinely powerful and engaging. There’s a line from The Waking Hours’ “Carousel,” propelled by a darkly beautiful Indie Pop carnival soundtrack, that perfectly encapsulates the emotional and aural impact of Matthew Perryman Jones — “Lost in the memories, lost in the sound.”
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