Whether composing interterrestrial jams from the outer regions or a soundtrack for the post-apocalypse, Jeremi Johnson’s music as 10th Letter has been largely complex and cerebral—the sort of rabbit hole plunging experimentalism that requires patience and active listening to unravel. By contrast, “Fata Morgana,” the first single from his upcoming LP, Prism Scale, is fluid and free-flowing, two-and-a-half minutes of undulating psych grooves and gliding jazz fusion that is an effortless joy to listen to.
Surrounded by a familiar cast of players—Chris Edwards on guitar; Quinn Masonry on sax; and Saira Raza on cello, bass, and vibraphone—Johnson assumes the reigns here with an assured confidence. While the track dances and flickers with a litany of expressive melodies and dazzling rhythmic textures, it’s his crisp, insistent drumming that activates the composition and beckons the listener to fly along. The final cut is one of 10th Letter’s most focused and accessible singles; I just wish every weekend would start off with such a grand and cosmic trip.
Prism Scale is out Nov. 17. Pre-orders are available here.
10th Letter will perform on Thu., Nov. 9 at Aisle 5 alongside Blank Banshee and Chris Devoe. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $13-15. All Ages.