From J. J. Cale to ‘Groundhog Day’: Bones and Jones tell us what inspired their new album
01.03.2021

From J. J. Cale to ‘Groundhog Day’: Bones and Jones tell us what inspired their new album

Photo by Willem Kingma

While the world was at a standstill, Bones and Jones were hard at work.

Amongst the chaos that was 2020, a few precious tracks from Geelong six-piece Bones and Jones’ latest album, Ginger Gold (Farm Singles), were slowly drip-fed to us, with their nostalgic brand of playful, ’60s infused pop-rock brightening up days which were sepia-toned at best.

After the woozy tones of ‘Today’ and ‘It’s Time’ hit the metaphorical shelves last July, followed by ‘Reckless’ and ‘Broken Swings & Roundabouts’, the full album is finally out in all its glory. 

Rehearsed and recorded in an old apple farm and orchard, Ginger Gold is a testament to the creative ingenuity which can arise from a ‘Groundhog Day’ type of world, with lyrical inspirations taken from day-to-day life and melodies arising out of the best kind of spontaneous collaboration – group rehearsals-turned-writing sessions.

We sat down with the group’s lead vocalist Jasper Jolley, who took us on a track-by-track journey through the album.

Today 

This track is one of the first that I wrote and recorded when the whole world seemed to be placed on pause. It kind of began the whole process of this project. I sent it to the guys as a demo, more or less as an idea for something to do whilst shows had stopped, in anticipation of the time when we could hang out and jam again.

We all kind of agreed to slap a record together somehow and drip feed it over seven months, with the intention that when it was all out we could play a launch show. The song itself really just plays into the ‘Groundhog Day’ world that became the norm for several months. 

It’s Time 

‘It’s Time’ is about trying to break a rut. Mostly in some sort of creative pursuit. I found that it was easy to become distracted from your actual feelings by filling the void. In some ways, it’s a song about purging and cleaning out the cobwebs – with all the time on my hands during the lockdowns, it felt pretty good getting rid of things that I didn’t use, like taking old clothes to the op shop. It’s also me doing my best Beatles impression.

Reckless

I can’t speak much from the lyrical point of view of this song because Finn wrote it, but I can say that it has been one of the best times I’ve had writing a song as a group. I remember we had a big band family barbeque at my place and then followed it up with practice.

Mash had an idea and it all just went from there. We tidied it up over a few hours and came out with the finished song. Everyone had great ideas and it all seemed to work pretty well. It felt pretty good to be listening to the voice memos we took away from the practice over the following week. 

Broken Swings and Roundabouts 

This song is pretty much a song of frustration. It’s about feeling annoyed at the world, especially the really intense consumerism that happens these days, with people using and buying beyond their means. With that also comes a seemingly perpetual cycle – feelings of inadequacy because enough never seems to be enough. It’s about finding yourself in the very position you’re trying to avoid. 

Feel Better Now 

This one is pretty simple, and a lot less angsty. It’s just about letting time pass and hoping that your better half is trucking along alright during the ups and downs that happen. This was an old demo that got dug up in the process of looking for songs to record by myself for this project. I also had just purchased myself an old Fender Rhodes, so I was really trying to squeeze it into as many tracks as I could.  

Crown Of Thorns

This is another song that came out of a whole band practice and writing session. I think we needed a more upbeat song in the set at the time and it’s also probably the beginning of Mash and I making dual guitar parts. Lyrically, it came out of a pretty hard time for some dear friends of mine. It seemed like it was the end but it was really only the beginning. I think grief can bring a lot of reflection, and this track was pretty much based on those feelings. 

Victims of the Squeeze 

Another old demo that we rebuilt as a band. I wrote it after living in Melbourne for a couple of years. I missed having my own space and found being surrounded by so many people more disconnecting than I’d thought it would be… getting on the train and everyone’s in their own world, sucked into their phones. 

Learn to Dance 

‘Learn to Dance’ is about trying to learn tricks to impress someone, then realising that it’s much better to be taken as you are rather than what you’re not. 

Heaven in the Home 

This is one of the slower songs that we have put out. It’s straight up about being in poor mental health. I’ve always introduced it when we played it live as a song about looking after your head and looking after your mates. From the perspective of a young man, it’s been hard to avoid people I care about suffering pretty badly – it constantly comes and it goes. It’s always important to speak up and take some care when you can see it’s time to slow down and let yourself recharge. 

No More Worries (Oh Yeah) 

Again, this is one that Finn wrote so I can’t speak on that, but it was another really fun one to write and record. It’s the first time we’ve done some dual guitar harmonica and guitar melodies. It’s pretty much a midnight rambler but faster. 

Harder to Find 

This one came after listening to a lot of J.J Cale. I love the sound of how all of his songs are recorded, blending drum machines and keeping everything quite soft and personal. It’s always good to borrow from the best of ‘em. 

Rambler 

‘Rambler’ came around the time of the wild bushfires that happened across late 2019 to early 2020. There was a lot of discourse over how we treat the environment, although it’s quite contradictory because so much of what keeps the world turning is damaging it. I get my coffees in a keep cup but still fill my car with oil, for instance, it’s so hard to get away from. That being said, I suppose every little bit helps.

Apples 

‘Apples’ is the last track we released and quite fittingly it’s the last song that we recorded. I’d had this one on file for a little while and we had played it live a couple of times. I wrote it after I’d moved out of Melbourne and back to a place near my hometown by the coast. The space was a little farmlett with an old apple orchard in the paddocks. It’s the same property that we tracked this whole record on, so it only felt right as an album closer, and the last song to release.

Ginger Gold (Farm Singles) is out now. Check it out here.