Evening Hymns is the project of Jonas Bonnetta and he’s sharing the atmospheric single “My Drugs, My Dreams” today with a video directed by Monika Kraska. “My Drugs, My Dreams” was taken from the upcoming album Heavy Nights which will be released June 26.
Recorded and self-produced at Port William Sound, Bonnetta’s rural studio in Eastern Ontario, the new single follows last month’s NPR, Gorilla vs Bear and American Songwriter-tipped release, ‘I Can Only Be Good’, once again finding Jonas picking at the carcass of romance with frank and resolute precision. Whereas the first taste of Heavy Nights dealt in intimacy and wine-drunk hues, cutting deeper with Shabason’s saxophone-work,’My Drugs, My Dreams’ turns to something more palatial with its sonic ambition. Vintage Kong synthesisers, 707 drum machines and vocal pads etch the glowing outline for a big-picture sound, demonstrating Bonnetta’s ability to freeze-frame emotional turmoil and capture it in a heartbreakingly earnest yet somewhat optimistic light.
“I wrote this song in my living room right after my breakup, totally terrified and alone,” says Bonnetta. “Again, all these huge questions came back to me and I was so confused and drained. I’d just hurt this person that I loved and had loved for so long and who I had had all of these formative experiences with: touring the world, moving to the country, grieving my father. I wanted to remember it forever, to be present, to learn from it, and so drew the picture. I’d always had this feeling that love should feel good wherever you are, in some idyllic place or in some run-down miserable apartment. I wanted to be happy with nothing. To take away my vices and my dreams and still feel free and hopeful and capable of love.”
“I’d been working on this song for years and kept putting it aside when I knew I didn’t have the energy to make it better. In my head, I was chasing Rupert Hine’s ‘Arrested By You’ from the Better Off Dead soundtrack, a childhood favourite. I got this big drumbeat going and then just muted all the old drums and guitars. The strings still fit beautifully and that became the song.”
The new album marks Bonnetta’s first release under the Evening Hymns moniker since his 2015-record, Quiet Energies, an album that would find Jonas opening for the likes of Agnes Obel, Mount Eerie, Lou Doillon and Chris Cohen. In the time between records, Bonnetta has recorded a collaborative album with violinist, Edwin Huizinga (The Wooden Sky), released the ambient LP, All This Here under his own name and starred in the Canadian festival-featured film, ‘Drifting Snow’.