Over the course of his new EP Son of Someone, Jon Bindley treads an emotional tightrope, balancing lofty romantic notions with practical life experiences. The proud Pittsburgh native turned Nashville resident explores the highs and lows associated with commitment in this winning three-song primer, touching on returned, unrequited, and diminishing affection. Ultimately, he concludes that while relationships and lives may fade away, love bears its own inexplicable legacy .
Helmed by Justin Loucks and Jeremy Lister, Son of Someone features appealing production that draws on a diverse array of sounds. Folk-country charmer “Full-Time Fool” opens the set, incorporating humor and pathos. Undeterred by his lack of professional accomplishment or skill, the narrator declares himself a “full-time lover” who subsequently becomes a full-time fool when his beloved no longer returns his feelings. He wryly muses in the bridge, “Love is a labor/I’ve been working while I can/Trying to use my heart/Not just my hands/So I don’t get left behind/In that unemployment line/When I’m an older man.” The song’s jaunty instrumentation echoes Bindley’s self-aware lament, emphasizing both the bitter and sweet elements of the narrator’s predicament.
The understated “Water” also details the state of a couple that exists “separate[ly] and together” in the midst of a period of self-discovery. In this particular case, the pair is on the verge of making its break permanent when the narrator refuses to settle in a dead-end relationship. Interspersed by guttural cries that foreshadow the relationship’s end, Bindley’s staunch insistence that the split is for the best carries the song to a satisfying conclusion.
Conversely, the atmospheric pop of “Infinity” speaks to the pleasures of being tied to one’s better half forever. The song’s dreamy sentiments, co-written with Richie Lister, are grounded by the acknowledgement of both man’s inevitable mortality and eternal influence. “I’m just the son of someone of someone of someone I never met/After I’m gone it will go on and on like that,” Bindley notes of his place in the world, capturing both the intimacy and breadth of the song. When he promises that his love can depend on him, his confident delivery makes the audience inclined to believe him.
While the songs on Son of Someone can stand on their own, taken together they form a broader and welcome introduction to Bindley’s thoughtful songcraft. Based on this small taste, he’ll be someone worth watching.