Karen Jonas LIVE at The Sound Lounge

Mon Oct 7 2024

8:00 PM - 10:30 PM (Doors 7:00 PM)

The Sound Lounge (Sutton)

216-220 High Street Sutton SM1 1NU

£17.00

All Ages

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Americana/Alt-Country songwriter Karen Jonas is a powerhouse creator and storyteller with a voice to match.

Ambitious, smart, and magnetically retro, her 2024 album, to be released on August 9th, 'The Rise and Fall of American Kitsch' will charm you with dazzlingly quirky storytelling, stellar performances, and an adventurous Americana soundscape.

Her 2023 album 'The Restless' is “a stunning collection of dreamy and dark alt-country confessionals; a deep exploration of love and vulnerability from one of Americana’s most hopeless romantics” (Holler.Country). With “vocals that twist and snap with tension and emotional depth” and a dynamic band, it’s no wonder Karen is turning heads all around the world (Country Music People, U.K.).

Flanked by her longtime guitarist the inimitable Tim Bray and bassist Seth Morrissey, she dazzles with energy that showcases their ten-year touring chemistry and the true joy of their art. Karen is a four-time Wammie (Washington Area Music) Award winner for Best Country and Americana Artist, Mid Atlantic Song Contest winner, Ameripolitan Award nominee, and official SXSW and UK Americanafest Showcasing Artist. As Parklife Mag DC put it, “the voice of country music in the DMV is a big, bright voice that belongs to Virginia native Karen Jonas.”

Karen Jonas LIVE at The Sound Lounge

  • Karen Jonas

    Karen Jonas

    Music

    The Rise and Fall of American Kitsch

    “I love vintage kitsch: atomic stars, plastic pink flamingos, Elvis lamps where the pole comes
    straight out of his head.” Karen Jonas lights up when she talks about her August 2024 release,
    The Rise and Fall of American Kitsch.

    A fearless artist and colorful storyteller since her debut, Oklahoma Lottery, in 2014, Jonas is more ambitious than ever with her seventh record. “The ‘50s birthed the concept that we can and should buy things we don’t really need. Post-war factories, the baby boom, suburbia: we started manufacturing an idea of joy that we still sell today.” The record is full of this optimism, a technicolor portrait of vintage magic. But Jonas also sees the shadows: waste, excess, addiction. “With every new invention and fashion trend, something else lands in the trash,” she says. “It keeps me up at night. Our kids are inheriting a shopping habit and a huge pile of garbage.” Consumerism is our national religion and I try but I can’t escape it/ I love it as much as I hate it/ the rise and fall of American kitsch looked better on Elvis/ now we’re accelerating toward some
    ominous high-tech destination/ with Botox-stuck smiles on our faces but no matter how many products I purchase/ my vanity project is failing/ I am aging/ my hair is greying. - American Kitsch

    Jonas plotted a record called The Rise and Fall of American Kitsch before she began writing for her 2023 release The Restless, which Holler Country called “a deep exploration of love and vulnerability.”
    “I had some personal things to process, so I shelved 10 or 12 songs and started sorting through that. Art can be like that,” Jonas reflects. Only a few original Kitsch tracks would make the final set, including “Plastic Pink Flamingos,” a frenzied story about a lady whose quirky fascination with the feathered yard decor devolves into a darkly fanatical lunacy. “It’s not really about flamingos,” Jonas winks cryptically, “or is it?”

    The lead track, “Rich Man’s Valley,” came from this early set of writing, too. It’s an optimistic telling of the Carter family’s journey from their humble beginnings in Poor Valley, Virginia, to the most revered echelons of country music history. The song rumbles victoriously down the mountain like a Model T, complete with twangy guitar, barroom piano, fiddle, and a playful yodel chorus. “The Carter family went from barefoot fruit tree salesmen to fame and fortune, truly by the grace of their guts, voices, and pens,” Jonas says. “They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.”

    Quietly ambitious and forever writing, Jonas returned to the Kitsch theme a mere days after the release of The Restless. “We were on a plane home from SXSW, and I turned on Baz Luhrmann’s 2022 Elvis movie. I was feeling optimistic about the album release and related to the movie’s energy, so I started scribbling notes on the rise of Elvis. The plane landed before
    the fall of Elvis.” When she got home, instead of watching the last hour of the movie, Jonas spat out eight songs over as many days. They would become the core of The Rise and Fall of American Kitsch.

    Some songs are direct Elvis-story inspirations, and some are expansions of the themes. Bright, jumpy-fun “Four Cadillacs” comes from a scene where Elvis and his manager sit on a ferris wheel, daydreaming about their potential together. Bluesy “Mama’s Gone” expands on Elvis grieving the death of his mother with a sweaty, reverb-washed guitar and horns. “Call Dr. Nick” takes on Elvis’s controversial pill-prescribing doctor and the pharmaceutical industry at the same time, slyly selling “cotton candy pills in little orange bottles” atop a swampy, dissonant soundscape, led by Jonas on banjo.

    “Let’s Go to Hawaii” is a sunny, island-themed track that alludes to both Elvis’s movie career and Jonas’s not-so-secret love for Jimmy Buffett (“the consummate storyteller,” she gushes). A vintage housewife tries to persuade her husband to take her on vacation, showcasing Jonas’s lyrical prowess: cute but never trite, squarely thematic but still somehow unexpected. Piano- soaked Vegas-elopement love song “Gold in the Sand” paints a dreamy neon-lit picture with a confident artist’s brush. “I’ve never been to Hawaii or Vegas,” Jonas notes, “I did some research and looked at a lot of vintage travel posters.”

    Recorded live in the studio, The Rise and Fall of American Kitsch features long-time collaborator guitarist Tim Bray at his twangy best, piano/organ by Washington, DC staple Benji Porecki, fiddle by NYC studio pro Bobby Hawk, and pedal steel by Ahren Buchheister. Bassist Seth Morrissey and drummer Ben Tufts gelled like only old friends can. The album oozes with
    layered, textured excitement, reminiscent of Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band or Dusty in Memphis, or even Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. “I was obsessed with the idea of energy in the room,” Jonas says, “I told everyone we were going to have fun about 1,000 times, and you know what? We did.” The intricacies of a tight, song-focused band, with all of the mid-session discoveries and documented snap decisions, take the stellar writing of The Rise and Fall of American Kitsch to the next level.

    Listen through the epic “Shake Bump and Grind Show,” a pearl-clutching attempt to control Elvis’s sexuality on
    stage, to hear the band working together in the room. Recorded over three long days at Cue Recording Studio in Falls Church, VA, with engineer Blaine Misner at the helm, the band buckled in for art - and fun, as directed. Jonas recorded her
    vocals and guitar in the control room for sound isolation, overlooking the band through a glass window as she played.

    “It was all smooth and easy until day three,” Jonas says. “Then we got to the spoken word piece.” “American Kitsch” is the greatest foil of the record, where Jonas drops the nostalgia and holds nothing back as she struggles to find her place in consumer capitalism. “I guess I was hungry and pretty tired, so I got three-quarters of the way through my first take, and just started sobbing. It was like the weight of the whole record dropped on me all at once.” A brief recess and a snack, and Jonas was back at it. “American Kitsch” can hit you that way, though—a stark epilogue that makes you want to start the record over and listen through with a new lens.

    Ambitious, smart, and magnetically retro, The Rise and Fall of American Kitsch will charm you with dazzlingly quirky storytelling, stellar performances, and an adventurous Americana soundscape. It’s nuanced enough that you’ll want to soak it in with front-to-back listens, and fun enough for a road trip soundtrack.

    With American Kitsch, Karen Jonas is clearly on the rise.

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TicketWeb are committed to supporting grassroots & independent music across the UK and are proud to partner with & support the work of the Music Venue Trust. A 50p contribution from the booking fee on each ticket goes directly to maintain and sustain this venue. For more info on the work the Music Venues Trust does to support grassroots venues in the UK please visit www.musicvenuetrust.com

Karen Jonas LIVE at The Sound Lounge

Mon Oct 7 2024 8:00 PM - 10:30 PM

(Doors 7:00 PM)

The Sound Lounge (Sutton) Sutton
Karen Jonas LIVE at The Sound Lounge

£17.00 All Ages

Americana/Alt-Country songwriter Karen Jonas is a powerhouse creator and storyteller with a voice to match.

Ambitious, smart, and magnetically retro, her 2024 album, to be released on August 9th, 'The Rise and Fall of American Kitsch' will charm you with dazzlingly quirky storytelling, stellar performances, and an adventurous Americana soundscape.

Her 2023 album 'The Restless' is “a stunning collection of dreamy and dark alt-country confessionals; a deep exploration of love and vulnerability from one of Americana’s most hopeless romantics” (Holler.Country). With “vocals that twist and snap with tension and emotional depth” and a dynamic band, it’s no wonder Karen is turning heads all around the world (Country Music People, U.K.).

Flanked by her longtime guitarist the inimitable Tim Bray and bassist Seth Morrissey, she dazzles with energy that showcases their ten-year touring chemistry and the true joy of their art. Karen is a four-time Wammie (Washington Area Music) Award winner for Best Country and Americana Artist, Mid Atlantic Song Contest winner, Ameripolitan Award nominee, and official SXSW and UK Americanafest Showcasing Artist. As Parklife Mag DC put it, “the voice of country music in the DMV is a big, bright voice that belongs to Virginia native Karen Jonas.”
Karen Jonas

Karen Jonas

Music

The Rise and Fall of American Kitsch

“I love vintage kitsch: atomic stars, plastic pink flamingos, Elvis lamps where the pole comes
straight out of his head.” Karen Jonas lights up when she talks about her August 2024 release,
The Rise and Fall of American Kitsch.

A fearless artist and colorful storyteller since her debut, Oklahoma Lottery, in 2014, Jonas is more ambitious than ever with her seventh record. “The ‘50s birthed the concept that we can and should buy things we don’t really need. Post-war factories, the baby boom, suburbia: we started manufacturing an idea of joy that we still sell today.” The record is full of this optimism, a technicolor portrait of vintage magic. But Jonas also sees the shadows: waste, excess, addiction. “With every new invention and fashion trend, something else lands in the trash,” she says. “It keeps me up at night. Our kids are inheriting a shopping habit and a huge pile of garbage.” Consumerism is our national religion and I try but I can’t escape it/ I love it as much as I hate it/ the rise and fall of American kitsch looked better on Elvis/ now we’re accelerating toward some
ominous high-tech destination/ with Botox-stuck smiles on our faces but no matter how many products I purchase/ my vanity project is failing/ I am aging/ my hair is greying. - American Kitsch

Jonas plotted a record called The Rise and Fall of American Kitsch before she began writing for her 2023 release The Restless, which Holler Country called “a deep exploration of love and vulnerability.”
“I had some personal things to process, so I shelved 10 or 12 songs and started sorting through that. Art can be like that,” Jonas reflects. Only a few original Kitsch tracks would make the final set, including “Plastic Pink Flamingos,” a frenzied story about a lady whose quirky fascination with the feathered yard decor devolves into a darkly fanatical lunacy. “It’s not really about flamingos,” Jonas winks cryptically, “or is it?”

The lead track, “Rich Man’s Valley,” came from this early set of writing, too. It’s an optimistic telling of the Carter family’s journey from their humble beginnings in Poor Valley, Virginia, to the most revered echelons of country music history. The song rumbles victoriously down the mountain like a Model T, complete with twangy guitar, barroom piano, fiddle, and a playful yodel chorus. “The Carter family went from barefoot fruit tree salesmen to fame and fortune, truly by the grace of their guts, voices, and pens,” Jonas says. “They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.”

Quietly ambitious and forever writing, Jonas returned to the Kitsch theme a mere days after the release of The Restless. “We were on a plane home from SXSW, and I turned on Baz Luhrmann’s 2022 Elvis movie. I was feeling optimistic about the album release and related to the movie’s energy, so I started scribbling notes on the rise of Elvis. The plane landed before
the fall of Elvis.” When she got home, instead of watching the last hour of the movie, Jonas spat out eight songs over as many days. They would become the core of The Rise and Fall of American Kitsch.

Some songs are direct Elvis-story inspirations, and some are expansions of the themes. Bright, jumpy-fun “Four Cadillacs” comes from a scene where Elvis and his manager sit on a ferris wheel, daydreaming about their potential together. Bluesy “Mama’s Gone” expands on Elvis grieving the death of his mother with a sweaty, reverb-washed guitar and horns. “Call Dr. Nick” takes on Elvis’s controversial pill-prescribing doctor and the pharmaceutical industry at the same time, slyly selling “cotton candy pills in little orange bottles” atop a swampy, dissonant soundscape, led by Jonas on banjo.

“Let’s Go to Hawaii” is a sunny, island-themed track that alludes to both Elvis’s movie career and Jonas’s not-so-secret love for Jimmy Buffett (“the consummate storyteller,” she gushes). A vintage housewife tries to persuade her husband to take her on vacation, showcasing Jonas’s lyrical prowess: cute but never trite, squarely thematic but still somehow unexpected. Piano- soaked Vegas-elopement love song “Gold in the Sand” paints a dreamy neon-lit picture with a confident artist’s brush. “I’ve never been to Hawaii or Vegas,” Jonas notes, “I did some research and looked at a lot of vintage travel posters.”

Recorded live in the studio, The Rise and Fall of American Kitsch features long-time collaborator guitarist Tim Bray at his twangy best, piano/organ by Washington, DC staple Benji Porecki, fiddle by NYC studio pro Bobby Hawk, and pedal steel by Ahren Buchheister. Bassist Seth Morrissey and drummer Ben Tufts gelled like only old friends can. The album oozes with
layered, textured excitement, reminiscent of Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band or Dusty in Memphis, or even Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. “I was obsessed with the idea of energy in the room,” Jonas says, “I told everyone we were going to have fun about 1,000 times, and you know what? We did.” The intricacies of a tight, song-focused band, with all of the mid-session discoveries and documented snap decisions, take the stellar writing of The Rise and Fall of American Kitsch to the next level.

Listen through the epic “Shake Bump and Grind Show,” a pearl-clutching attempt to control Elvis’s sexuality on
stage, to hear the band working together in the room. Recorded over three long days at Cue Recording Studio in Falls Church, VA, with engineer Blaine Misner at the helm, the band buckled in for art - and fun, as directed. Jonas recorded her
vocals and guitar in the control room for sound isolation, overlooking the band through a glass window as she played.

“It was all smooth and easy until day three,” Jonas says. “Then we got to the spoken word piece.” “American Kitsch” is the greatest foil of the record, where Jonas drops the nostalgia and holds nothing back as she struggles to find her place in consumer capitalism. “I guess I was hungry and pretty tired, so I got three-quarters of the way through my first take, and just started sobbing. It was like the weight of the whole record dropped on me all at once.” A brief recess and a snack, and Jonas was back at it. “American Kitsch” can hit you that way, though—a stark epilogue that makes you want to start the record over and listen through with a new lens.

Ambitious, smart, and magnetically retro, The Rise and Fall of American Kitsch will charm you with dazzlingly quirky storytelling, stellar performances, and an adventurous Americana soundscape. It’s nuanced enough that you’ll want to soak it in with front-to-back listens, and fun enough for a road trip soundtrack.

With American Kitsch, Karen Jonas is clearly on the rise.

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

Complete the security check.

Select Tickets

All Ages
limit 10 per person
General Admission
£17.00 (£15.00 + £2.00 Fees, excluding any delivery costs)

Delivery Method

eTickets
Box Office Collection

Terms & Conditions

TicketWeb are committed to supporting grassroots & independent music across the UK and are proud to partner with & support the work of the Music Venue Trust. A 50p contribution from the booking fee on each ticket goes directly to maintain and sustain this venue. For more info on the work the Music Venues Trust does to support grassroots venues in the UK please visit www.musicvenuetrust.com