Striving for new creative realms and the unfamiliar is something very few musicians successfully achieve, yet Jonny Couch takes it all with stride. Currently based in Brooklyn and originally hailing from Cleveland, Couch started playing drums at a young age before venturing to play in a multitude of pioneering garage punk acts like Honeyburst and Napalm Stars. “Those guys kind of broke me into the whole garage rock and punk scene and introduced me to a lot of great music”, says Couch of his bandmates and early influences. Upon moving to New York, Couch connected with Peter Mavrogeorgis, who currently lives in Savannah producing records out of his self-built Dollhouse Studios. Having cultivated a long term friendship with Mavrogeorgis, Couch was eager to work with him and flew down to Georgia for what was to be a short term project. “I wrote a screenplay about a rock drummer and as a joke I had a song in it, so I went down to record the song with him and it turned out really great. I decided to do a whole EP with him, and I turned into a solo artist by accident. This was about 2015 when it all happened”, recalls Couch of the experience.
Drawing comparisons to Bryan Ferry and laced with synth-laden new wave and 80’s power pop, his initial EP for Animal Instinct was released in 2016 to critical acclaim. Spending more time flying between Brooklyn and Savannah, Mavrogeorgis helped put together a backing band for Couch while he garnered an audience playing live shows in the area. Infusing his distinct personality as well as taking aspects from those that have had an impact on his sensibilities and tastes, Couch accumulated the confidence and passion to really get out there and interact with his fans. “It’s nice not to be held down by a drumset and trapped behind it”, Couch laughs. His upcoming full length, Mystery Man, is set to be released on August 2nd via his own label, Damaged Sofa Records. Citing Future Island’s recent material as an influence as well as his long time love for new romantic and power pop acts like Duran Duran, Nick Lowe and The Buzzcocks, Couch crafts an entirely personal and accessible album comprised of ten tracks that grip your senses from start to finish before demanding a replay. Tinged with his love for noir films and its aesthetic on titled tracks like “Vertigo” and “Framed”, Couch also states that “[t]here are other songs where the lyrics have a lot to do with trying to take more responsibility for your behavior while you’re trying to come to grips with reality. The last song, “Framed”, is very neo-noir, almost inspired by the movie Body Heat where the main character gets framed for murder.” His most recent music video for “Vertigo” integrates late 80’s and early 90’s animation from director Jordan Edwards and aid from his fiancé Rebecca with costume design and props. During a trip to Cleveland last December, Couch stumbled upon a pair of hypnotic glasses, christened his “vertigo glasses”, that made their way into the video and single artwork (designed by Surfbort’s guitarist, David R. Head Jr). “Vertigo” is both a zany look into one’s mind and heart losing their equilibrium paired with fantastically infectious lyrics and sleek synth melodies.
You can pre-order Mystery Man here ahead of its August release date, and anticipate a tour making his way down south later this fall. Below are his current tour dates for August and October:
August 1st - New York, NY @ Berlin (Album Release Show)
August 14th - Brooklyn, NY @ Our Wicked Lady
October 13th - Austin, TX @ Cheer Up Charlies