After a couple quiet months, I finally have an add this week!! Don’t miss it – the new full-length album by Jonathan Bree (who you’ll remember from the singles I worked both earlier this spring and late last fall) is finally here and it rips!! This one feels like a long time coming, both because it’s my first new add since March (pandemic scrambled a bunch of release dates around of course, including this one which was originally scheduled to come out in April) and because I’ve basically been working on it since last November when I started pushing that first single. Wow. We made it, y’all. We’re here. Jonathan Bree’s new album is out and all is right with the world. In case you’re new to this pal: if you have any knowledge of New Zealand pop music, you might recognize him as former bandleader of cute twee popsters The Brunettes, or label head of influential NZ label Lil Chief Records. He also has been known to play in the band of Princess Chelsea. I would say his present-day music is best described as Magnetic Fields meets Casket Girls. My personal history with this guy goes way back and is quite special to me, which you can read a bit more about on my post about the first single I worked if ya like. His current stage show is really something to see too: it involves solid white spandex masks and pioneer-woman-styled backup dancers with complex choreography. Someday bands will be allowed to tour outside of NZ again and we’ll see it. His music is spooky, creepy, and also romantic and sweet and sometimes even hooky bangers.

He’s also got a slew of killer videos, including one for his newest single “Heavenly Vision” which features a very good dog named Panda. There’s also a great video for the song “Kiss My Lips” (the single I was working in the spring, featuring Princess Chelsea in an American Bandstand-type scenario, that was shot around the same time of Jonathan Bree’s viral hit video for “You’re So Cool“.

My pal Jake Uitti recently published a rad interview with Jonathan in American Songwriter, which you can check out right here: he calls Jonathan’s music “smooth and warm with a kiss of the bittersweet” and also compares him to David Bowie in Labyrinth!! :o Also check out this sick Bandcamp Daily feature on him that went up at the end of July; also DJ Troy Nelson shouted me out on KEXP while giving a really clear description of what’s special about Jonathan’s music and live show – I loved that so much I recorded it jankily on my phone’s voice memo app (so turn up yr volume probably), so you can listen real quick (maybe for some inspo on how to describe this jam?!) right here.



Lil Chief

Jonathan Bree is a musician from New Zealand, known for melodic compositions where he croons about modern life and love, over string parts that slide precariously between notes and dulcitone chimes. The end result is a musical palette one could describe as dark Disney.
His live shows have also gained him a cult following as he tours extensively across the world. Masked band members in pioneering clothing are set against a backdrop of cinematic projections created specifically for each song. Unusual for an indie act, he also has two dancers who perform other-worldly choreographed routines along with the music.
After his “You’re So Cool” video went viral in 2017 (currently sitting at nearly 18 million views on Youtube), many likely assumed Jonathan Bree was a new artist. He began writing his own songs at age 9 and performed live as a drummer in his cousin’s band until age 13. This was interrupted after being sent to live in Australia with his father, who was an aspiring cult leader. Bree subsequently left home and independently navigated his teenage years.
When Bree returned to New Zealand, he formed The Brunettes, who in their active years toured the world and released music through Sub Pop Records and Bree’s own label, Lil Chief Records. The frustrations of trying to take this traditional route to success saw him take a long break from releasing his own music. In the interim, he happened to produce the song “The Cigarette Duet” for Princess Chelsea (in 2011) and directed its video which has since surpassed 47 million views.
He began releasing music as a solo artist in 2013. After The Curtains Close will be Jonathan Bree’s fourth full-length solo effort, out via Lil’ Chief Records on July 17th, 2020. ​

What could be described as Bree’s “sleazy” album could also be described as his break-up album. Dealing with the break-down of a major relationship, Bree opens up to reveal a year of loneliness and mental trauma—while also channelling positive feelings by embracing sex and sleaze in his music, subject material more traditionally reserved for the single man. Bree strikes a balance between darkness and silliness here without appearing snide.
The album sees the producer’s trademark orchestral pop take a few unexpected turns, both into the experimental and also into kitschy territory populated by some of his French heroes of the 1960s. The end result is an album that retains Bree’s musical DNA while being fun and varied. It also features guest vocalists for the first time, including longtime collaborator Princess Chelsea as well as Britta Phillips (of Dean & Britta and Luna).

RIYL: Princess Chelsea, The Brunettes, Britta Phillips/Luna, Ruby Suns, Lawrence Arabia, Anthonie Tonnon, Lee Hazlewood, Serge Gainsbourg, Scott Walker, The Magnetic Fields, Casket Girls

Start With: 3, 4, 6, 8


Contact me for a download link if you’re a radio rep!

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