Buenos Aires-born and Edmonton-based indie-tronic project Johnny Johnny & the Johnny's releases their highly anticipated debut album, 'Johnny.'
Johnny Johnny & the Johnny's is the musical project of Edmonton-based Luis Lamela, with help from friends Joel Cain (Beach Towels) and Brad Gibbons (Sir Quilt). Together, they create impeccable psychedelic synthwave with influences like Genesis, George Harrison, The Strokes, ELO, and many more.
Now, Johnny Johnny & the Johnny's are ready to create their own lane in the music scene with their debut 11-track album, Johnny. It carries a vintage sound below the modern synth-heavy vibe, sending waves of sensations and stimulation throughout the body.
The experience begins with the second lead single and introductory track, "Fishes To Sing," which opens with a heavy and chilling Mac DeMarco vibe alongside Luis Lamela's smooth and melodic vocals. He wastes no time painting such a lush and vibrant psychedelic atmosphere with the help of Brad Gibbons's heavy guitar riffs and Joel Cain's rich drum breaks. This moody and reflective track was a stellar way to grab our attention and kick off an album.
Moving into the second track, "Johnny V Good," Johnny ramps up the energy and brings more of an upbeat, playful alternative vibe. As Lamela jumps into his witty words and rhythmic lyrics, he serenades us by channeling his alter ego, Johnny, who helps him release, believe, and live through life's chaotic moments. We love the beachy and bright vibe this single carries, keeping us locked in for the entire ride.
Onto track number three and the album's third lead single, "Like A Neighbour," Johnny unleashes these ominous and growing synths through our speakers while transitioning into this wavy and dreamy alternative space. The instrumentals and production in this track are unique, to say the least, and Lamela's lyrics stand in the background while letting the dynamic instrumentals shine in the spotlight. There are subtle Beatles vibes through the soft woodwind instrumentals and hazy, reverbed electric guitars to maintain the dizzying atmosphere.
The album's fourth track, "We Can't Be Him," pumps through our speakers with a bright 80s vibe through string-like synths, a dreamy electric guitar melody, and hi-fi drum breaks. Listening to Lamela's punchy and exciting vocals, he expresses how life's mental and physical clutter keeps him from living in the moment. It's a groovy, dynamic, and explorative song that keeps our toes tapping and our minds occupied with Lamela's relatable lyrics.
Landing on the fifth track, "I Believe In Johnny," Johnny blasts us into this eerie and stimulating sonic atmosphere through unconventional vocal melodies, heavy bass licks, thumping drums, and dizzying guitars. It's definitely not your usual alternative/electronic sound, but that makes it all the more interesting. We can hear some early Tame Impala influence in the psychedelic synths that roam the background, pushing us to the outro with a heavy groove.
Reaching the album's halfway mark at track number six, "Johnny Needs a Window," we're met with nostalgic and eerie keyboard melodies that later bounce into a plucky synth arrangement with airy drums and the smoothest guitars. The soft, pulsating synths keep the anticipation high and mighty while Lamela floats through the verse with his echoed vocals to add this expansive and broad feel. Lamela's gentle and breathy vocals in this song help us see a softer side of his sound, one that we truly can't resist.
Upping the energy is the seventh track, "Latex Latex," which kicks off with short and tight percussion, claps, and dark background keys. As the ominous and heavy bassline begins flooding our speakers in vibes, Lamela adds a hint of relaxation by reminding us how this piece is the intermission; it's time to recollect ourselves and prepare for the album's radiant second half. This unique interlude leads us into our final four tracks.
Onto the eighth piece, "The Feature Magazine," Johnny blasts through our speakers with a mysterious and metallic percussion beat alongside his airy and dark vocals. As the tender electric guitar begins raining down from above, Johnny takes us on a harmonious and psychedelic ride that doesn't feature a hook, verse, or bridge, just a smooth and groovy trip that chills the mind and body. It's another unique piece that's left us impressed with Johnny's versatile stylings.
Slowing things down with the ninth track, "Slow Melting Johnny," Johnny turns down the energy and turns up the vibe with downtempo percussion, wailing guitars, soothing background synths, and his expressive vocals. This song is like a sonic slice of heaven, absolutely melting our speakers with this meditation-like atmosphere that's impossible to resist. The production offers such an authentic and transcendent sound, and Lamela's rich vocals are the cherry on top.
Pumping up the party is the album's lead single and Johnny's debut single, "Draft Punks," coming in at track number 10. It kicks off with nostalgic and exciting Daft Punk-like synths that continue bouncing through our speakers with this refreshing summer vibe. Lamela takes a more sensual and soothing vocal approach, swooning our ears with a raspy, breathy sound that chills the spine. This slow-burn and complex tune offers all the individuality we've come to love about Johnny.
Landing on the album's eleventh and outro track, "House Up Side," Johnny floods our speakers in radiant synths alongside upbeat drums and a sparkling synth arrangement. We can totally hear the indie-tronic sound Johnny has created for himself, and he gathers all the energy and positivity to close this album on a bright note. This song feels like the end of a coming-of-age movie, and we wouldn't have it any other way; it offers the perfect balance of reflection, passion, and optimism.
Experience a sound and style you've never heard before with Johnny Johnny & the Johnny's debut 11-track album, Johnny, now available on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Johnny Johnny & the Johnny's. We love everything about the unique sound and style within your debut album, Johnny. When did you begin creating songs and executing ideas for the album? How long did it take to create?
The songwriting process started in early 2020 for about 1 year; then the recording, editing, and mixing part took another year (until the end of 2021). Most of the songs came to life right away, but I spent a lot of time working on the right sound for each instrument. For example on ‘We Can’t be Him’ I had created the drum parts with a drum machine and then sent it over to Joel for ‘real drums’ recording - but we liked the vibe of the drum machine so much that we ended up using both. The album has lots of that with many instruments, the best of the ‘machine’ and ‘analog’ world.
What was your favorite part about creating the album, Johnny? What experiences did you appreciate most?
I think the album was just an excuse to get to hang out and make music with Joel and Brad really. You can’t show up at your friend's house empty-handed, so I’d bring a track or two and some wine each time. It wasn't the plan to do an album, but I started having all these songs, and eventually with time they became ‘Johnny’. You can definitely hear the ‘having a great time feeling. I’m very meticulous about the sound so I loved playing mini-tributes to artists that influenced me most. To name some: Julian Casablancas, Mac Demarco, Jeff Lynne, Phil Collins, George Harrison, Gustavo Cerati…
Was there a particular song from Johnny that was the most difficult to create in terms of emotion? Which song is the most personal to you?
I believe in Johnny. It wasn't difficult per se but there was a lot of emotion going on in the phrases. It was a self-realization moment- everybody has their inner Johnny, you just have to believe in yourself. No one can’t tell you where Johnny is, you've got to find it on your own. Hopefully, this song helps you to do so.
What was it like working alongside Joel Cain and Brad Gibbons for Johnny? What did they bring to the table?
The vibe and that is everything. I could never do a song if I don't feel a vibe. They make me want to do my best, which is pretty awesome for growing up as an artist. Joel did a great job on the whole record, not only recording but co-producing, mixing, and mastering. He is a natural talent that people should know more about (projects like Beach Towels, Shade Shelter, Feel Estate, and more). Brad (alias Sir Quilt) did a great job on the guitar parts for ‘Fishes to Sing’, who is also Joel’s friend (and partner in crime on their own projects). He’s got this natural encouraging mystic aura which is great to be influenced by.
What experience did you want to give listeners with the album, Johnny? What was your goal with the album?
To transfer sensation and stimulation is what it is about. I think there is a simple positive message behind it. Johnny himself had the most epic time doing this record, which I think shows. I’d recommend for listeners let it play until the end, for better results.