Hailing from Orlando, Florida, the jazz artist and singer-songwriter John Korbel releases a poignant and profoundly meaningful single entitled "No Better Angels."
Having opened for acts like Jay Leno, Blood Sweat and Tears, Asleep at the Wheel, and The Hooters, John Korbel was able to garner a steady and loyal fanbase. Not to mention his features at the Third Street Songwriters Festival in Baton Rouge, the Island Hopper Songwriters Festival in Fort Myers, and the Key Largo Songwriters Festival in the Florida keys, John Korbel has truly made his mark on our thriving jazz scene.
Now highlighting his powerful track, "No Better Angels," off his latest 5-track EP, 'Miss the Mystery,' John Korbel and his wavy sonics power through our speakers with immense strength and rhythm. While John Korbel tackles an incredibly conceptual and heavy lyrical topic, he keeps the groove alive with his lively instrumentation that emphasizes his compelling lyrical theme.
Hitting play on "No Better Angels," the song opens with a thumping bassline, rhythmic piano keys, a haunting electric guitar soaked in reverb, tight brass bursts, and a smooth mid-tempo drum beat. As John Korbel joins the party with his low and raspy vocals, he's later accompanied by a heavy electronic synth while delving into his powerful lyrical theme.
Listening to John Korbel's lyrics, he expands on the concept of the tragedies that roam our earth and the deaths of innocent people whose t-shirts and running shoes wash up on our shore. Through this track, it's clear that John Korbel pays a necessary tribute to the many lives who were brutally taken within the tragedies and misfortunes of selfish humans.
Join the fight against unjust violence with help from John Korbel's latest single, "No Better Angels," now available on all digital streaming platforms.
Hello John Korbel, and welcome to BuzzMusic. We highly appreciate the heavy and powerful concept of your recent single, "No Better Angels." What inspired the lyrical content within this piece?
There are always so many images of children in dire situations, the little Syrian refugee boy's body on the beach, the little kids separated from their families on the southern US border, and so many other examples. The song is an expression of anger and frustration that it is allowed to continue.
Did you work alongside any session musicians or producers when formulating the song "No Better Angels?" Or was this a solo process?
The entire "Miss The Mystery" EP project was a product of covid. I was stuck at home a lot, but I was fortunate to have a modest recording studio set up in my house in Florida. I played and programmed the basic reference tracks alone, then built on them by having some wonderful session players contribute their work either remotely, or in one on one sessions at my studio.
Was it difficult for you to write such emotionally charged and tragic lyricism for "No Better Angels?" What was your songwriting process like?
I had been kicking around lyric ideas on what eventually became "No Better Angels" for quite some time, years really. The opening line was something I had for years. I think it is horrible the way the church has dealt with the scandal. Then I started thinking about the Abraham Lincoln phrase "the better angels of our nature", and turned it around to say that in the face of these atrocities involving children, maybe "there are no better angels" in our nature. I also like to have possible alternate interpretations to my songs too. It might also be taken to mean that there are no better "Angels" than the victims, the children themselves. I think people can look at it either way.
How does "No Better Angels" fit into the overall concept and atmosphere of your recent 5-track EP, 'Miss the Mystery'?'
The EP started as me messing around with different tracks in my studio, so I can't really say I had an overall concept at the beginning. There were several tracks of things that I worked on that didn't make the cut, or that might fit better into a future project. I just thought the 5 tracks that I ended up with worked together with the best out of what I had.
What's next for you?
I hope to do a more Pop/Jazz project that focuses on a group of songs that I have written to emulate the kind of stuff I remember while I was growing up. They are more like the songs that Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett might have cut in their heyday in the 1950s. I even have my older brother, who is a fine classical conductor, working on some orchestrations for me. With a little luck and no doubt a ton of money, I might be able to pull it off.