Ears Wide Open: Jono Dorr

today10/12/2020 5 2 5

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L.A. native Jono Dorr had already accumulated some bona fides by the time he launched his solo career last year. Besides composing for film and television, Dorr has worked in a production and/or songwriting capacity with the likes of Hayley Kiyoko (“Expectations”), Kehlani, Gnash and the Neighbourhood.

After unveiling his sleek, atmospheric take on modern pop/R&B with some singles in 2019, this summer Dorr released his debut EP, “The Unexamined Life, Pt. 1” — the onetime philosophy major at UC Santa Cruz excising the title from a Socrates quote. The EP offered six songs of easy-on-the-ears introspection: “[It’s] about choosing pain over ignorance, freedom over obedience, and purpose over greed,” he says. “Each song focuses on different moments in my life that compelled me to look inward for answers.”

He continued that search last week with the warm, haunting new single “Deep End,” which is required listening for a somber October. “It’s about feeling like you need help,” Dorr says. “Real help from friends when you’ve gone to the edge of your mind.” In the chorus, he pleads: “Don’t just say I’ll be fine.”

“Deep End” follows September release of his first post-EP single, “Wrong.”

End-of-relationship grief inspired Dorr’s newest track, which encourages listeners to accept help in times of struggle. He dives in deep here into his role as a singer-songwriter. Though old soul music and gospel have influenced much of his music, Dorr offers something new by drawing from the folk genre, giving the song a sense of eeriness that would be enjoyed by fans of Bon Iver.

“I wanted the production to feel like you’re having a nightmare at sea,” he says.

||| Stream: “Deep End”

||| Also: Watch the video for “High Tide”

||| Also: Stream “The Unexamined Life, Pt. 1” in full

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