Jonathan Crossley’s latest album, Inhale, unapologetically challenges genre myopia

One hesitates to corral UK-based, South African guitarist, Jonathan Crossley’s work into genres. You can try, but then you’ve probably missed the point. 

Despite tending towards electronic music, indie rock, and metal – threads of which are evident in his work – Crossley has embraced music from all camps ever since he discovered it at age five thanks to a pair of old Rotel headphones and stacks of vinyls comprising an eclectic range of artists including Tangerine Dream, to Vangelis, Bach, and Genesis. 

Crossley has never subscribed to creating within the confines of boundaries. Traversing a mix of sonic territories has equipped him with the tools and experience to weave his own musical fabric. His latest album, Inhale, is yet another authentic testament to this. 

The nine-track album draws on decades of work,  influences, motivations, and inspirations, and solidifies the statement that genre myopia is not a way of life the artist has ever been interested in. 

Backed by fellow South African’s Carlo Mombelli on bass, and drummer Jonno Sweetman, Inhale starts off with an energetic compilation aptly titled “Bounce”. Palette cleansers like “Breathe Deep” and “Hymn” make space to tuck into the powerfully-layered seven to eight-minute-long tracks that ensue, from a dramatic “There’s No Invasion” to a chaotic “In The Spring”. 

Moving through a world that is seemingly still pregnant with collective uncertainty and exhausting attempts to preempt and plan often to no avail, the album is refreshing and relevant in its adaptive, explorative – yet quite deliberate and considered–nature. Giving us creatures of habit and routine permission to relish in the process rather than anxiously anticipate the destination. 

Inhale is a progressive yet arresting reminder to breathe and lean into the music. Into life. And to let it lead you, wherever that may be.

Feature pic supplied by artist