Jon and Roy
It’s easy to fall for the effortless, amiable charm of Jon Middleton and Roy Vizer. Seasoned musicians and long time friends, their brand of indie folk rock is a genre in itself; one that evokes freewheeling summer days, winding stretches of road, the pull of the journey. With over 50 million streams worldwide, it’s clear many others have been captivated by Jon and Roy and the stories they tell.
Jon and Roy’s 9th studio album Know Your Mind is a composed collection of 7 brand new songs that touch upon the classic Jon and Roy themes of love, presence, hardship and joy, while also pausing to reflect upon the tumultuous nature of this past year. Once restrictions had eased and ideas had percolated, the duo headed into the quiet forests of Vancouver Island in late summer to record. Building upon the creative energy of 2019’s Here, Know Your Mind is a declaration of knowing your heart and mind, of returning to beginnings, of the importance of roots. There is a confidence to this new collection of songs, one that expresses their maturity as artists, songwriters and music makers. In fact, it’s the first Jon and Roy album since 2008’s ‘Another Noon’ to feature just that: Jon Middleton and Roy Vizer, with no guest artist or session musician in sight. This lent a greater fluidity to their creative process, allowing for playfulness and late additions. “Six tunes came out of these sessions,” Middleton shares, “A seventh tune was born right after the New Year and we quickly worked on it for a month and then recorded it to add to the album.”
The title track ‘Know Your Mind’ was released toward the end of November 2020, a sliver of light as those dark winter nights closed in; a quiet call for compassion and understanding among so much uncertainty. Second single ‘Rising Sun’, released in January 2021, is vintage Jon and Roy, with Middleton’s beguiling vocals weaving a sanguine tale of hope atop of Vizer’s subtle driving percussion. New single ‘Here’s Where You’re Wrong‘ is a stoical rebuff of the current wave of populist ideology. As Middleton sees it, “This wave of new right wing intellectuals, who have incredibly strong and decisive views on the world and yet at the base of their viewpoints is a lack of empathy, open-mindedness and essentially, love.”