Jon posted a MySpace blog (22 Nov) sharing the story behind the self portrait he drew on a paper bag, addressing the confusion over the release date of his solo EP and other questions, and more. Read it all here.
I had posted a review of the EP a few posts ago. Got 10 more to share, thanks to the couple days for which Amazon & iTunes inadvertently released it - here they are, numbered to make it easy to reference them in the comment board:
1) In the only review yet by a pr-pr-pr-professional music-reviewing site, JfH gives "Fall" 4.5 stars. Check it out, 'tis pretty sweet. Now for some 5-star customer-reviews that stood out...
2) Nicole Green, amazon.com member: "Jon Foreman at a Whole New Level"
I've got to say that I was blown out of the water when I heard these six absolutely beautiful songs for the first time. Jon Foreman has combined stunningly gorgeous acoustic-style music with powerful, brutally honest lyrics. Being a fan of Switchfoot, of which Jon is the lead singer/songwriter, I have been exposed to his style of writing and music for a long time now- fans of Switchfoot, be prepared for something totally different than you have ever heard before.
The Cure for Pain- Possibly my favorite song in this current set. It is one of those songs that touches the soul and calms a troubled heart. Jon singing "And heaven knows, heaven knows, I tried to find a cure for the pain" sends chills down my spine every time.
Southbound Train- Another one of my favorites. Amazing harmonica and beautiful guitar rhythm come together to narrate the rhythms of the experience of riding home on a train with the one you love.
Lord, Save Me from Myself- This one is more "upbeat" than the other songs. A playful guitar rhythm along with Jon's lyrics, especially "Electric sun keep shining, ripen daughters of the chrome, This world is where I breathe, let it never be called home" explore the things in this world such as sex and riches which often cause the downfall of man.
Equally Skilled- Inspired by Micah 7 in the Old Testament- this song speaks about how the hands of mankind are "equally skilled" in doing things like evil, bribing the judges, and perverting justice, yet the Lord will still bring us to His light.
The Moon is a Magnet- The Bass Clarinet in the background gives the 1:54 song another musical dimension as it explores the role of love in human lives- "Love is a sadness, love is a madness, we are the addicts" and how being in love seems to be what everybody seeks- "what are we if we're not in love?"
My Love Goes Free- This track is truly different from the others and finishes this six-song EP very strongly. Jon's well-developed falsetto combined with keys provides a soothing piece of music. The analogy of the birds that Jon uses provides powerful imagery to accompany the music, which makes this song one of the most powerful in the set.
3) Christopher McDermott, amazon.com member: "Simply Beautiful."
This is the album we've been waiting for.
Every Switchfoot album comes with one or two of those incredible, personal, stripped down songs. "Let That be Enough," "Twenty-Four," and "Shadow Proves the Sunshine" come to mind. But those songs are just one facet of a larger Switchfoot sound.
In this EP, however, the bare, emotional songs are given a platform all their own. And Foreman does not disappoint. In the spare but lovely, "The Moon is a Magnet," we get poetic musings accompanied by only acoustic guitar, cello and a bass clarinet. "The Cure For Pain" sees Foreman at the peak of his songwriting abilities, reflecting on the last 10 years of his life. This track is sure to stand out as the strongest of the bunch. But, honestly, there is not a weak song here.
It's everything you could hope for from a solo Jon Foreman set. Honesty, beauty, stellar songwriting.
4) Jennifer Weber, ruckus.com member: "Deep lyrics, and an intimate, honest sound"
Long time Switchfoot fans will hear the echoes of such songs like "Daisy," "Twenty-Four," "Only Hope," and "These Blues" in Jon Foreman's new solo EP. New fans and old fans alike will hear well crafted lyrics and an acoustic driven sound, something mellow enough to sing along to, yet piercing and thought-provoking. Five stars for an EP that brings out Jon's writing and vocals, yet is distinct from Switchfoot's work as a band. Part 1 of a 4-part series of EPs.
5) Luke Sharett on iTunes: "Foreman's Fall does not disappoint"
Jon Foreman's much anticipated Fall EP is a beautiful blend of breathtaking melodies and soulful lyrics. Foreman, frontman for San Diego alt. rock band Switchfoot, presents honest, soul-searching tunes that will leave even the most hard hearted listener teary-eyed in no time. The music is as genuine and honest as the man himself, a breath of fresh air.
6) Joshoc9 on iTunes: "Different sound, yet equally breath-taking"
For ten years Jon Foreman's writing has spoken to countless people of all ages with words of inspiration and life experience. As Jon Foreman releases his first of four solo EP's, he proves that after ten years he still has it. "Fall" brings a different sound than most Switchfoot listeners are familiar with, but different doesn't mean bad. Jon Foreman's done it again as "Fall" is one of the best releases this holiday season.
7) Becca on iTunes: "pure brilliance."
Jon is not one to disappoint his audiences. This is a work of brilliance on his part, taking into consideration every emotion and putting it into the heart of each and every song. What a beautiful beginning to a wonderful year of seasons.
8) Teenwriter on iTunes: "Foreman is a master"
This is a far cry from Switchfoot, but his lyrics are more deep and probing, and the style is just as attractive...just in a more intimate way. Truly, Jon Foreman is one of the most skilled song-writers in the industry today!
9) UWA on iTunes: "Heartbreaking - in a good way!"
If you've heard Jon's work with the band Switchfoot, you might think that a largely acoustic solo project could only be a step down. You'd be wrong! Here Jon displays the tender acoustic genius displayed previously in songs such as "Let That Be Enough" (New Way To Be Human) or the "Revenge" bonus track off of Oh! Gravity. (Find it - it's worth it). Great EP!
10) 'Dying to Breathe' on iTunes: "Can I give this 100 Million stars??"
This EP is so worthy of that many stars. Seriously. Ever since I bought this at 6 am, I couldn't stop listening to it and it's 10:21 pm right now. Jon Foreman is a musical and lyrical genius. These songs are so heartfelt, raw and honest; straight from the heart (and his journals). His voice is so soothing and wise, and the music itself is just beautiful. The songs go deep into several themes that make you think and even cry. With this EP, Jon has just let it all out. 'Fall' shows that whether Jon is with Switchfoot or if he's solo, he succeeds all the way.
To top it off here's two live video recordings of songs featured on this EP (one at an aftershow in Vancouver, seated on the floor with a little group of us) that we'd put up on YouTube in the past. First is "Southbound Train". The second one is "Lord, Save Me From Myself" (I think it was the first time he'd ever played it, and I'm glad to have been there. - you can see a little bit of me to his right, ha.)
What happened to the switchFEED I've known and loved?!
friends, Romans, switchfootmen:
If you've been wondering why I haven't been posting a whole lot on here lately. I've been pregnant. With really good things. These babies need diaper-changing too, though they don't cry or wake me up in the middle of the night. Metaphors aside, here's what:
1. Brand new message boards! These have been up and running for a while, but we haven't announced it on here yet as we've been busy ironing out bugs, spraying at cockroaches, and such. Ya know, making it shiny before we welcome you in. The new boards have been 10x more active than the old ones, and everyone (the guinea pigs? :p) seems to think it's beautiful. This is a living, breathing organism to show for the community of lovely people that has developed around the band over the years. I encourage you to join us as we think, dream and live out loud. Good times are had by all. As the one who put it together, I feel proud of the community that has regrouped there after the columbia phase ended (which also meant the exit of crappy forum software.) anyhow, click here to check it out: switchfoot.com/community. Here's some of the feedback about these new boards, posted by kind boardies.
I think Phil and all those involved did an outstanding job at these boards... Thank you for all your hard work, it definitely shows... and it rocks! the 'switch' over to these boards was done so with ease, it instantly felt like coming home. there is soo much more here, it is like a playground that I never want to leave... we are waay too spoiled.. -Aki
I loved these boards from the beginning!!!! they feel so much more personal, and we feel closer to each other. -Pip
The old boards sucked. These are SOOOOO much better. -Barnaby
these boards are awesome... unlike the sony boards... which were slow and annoying the theme is really rad! -Ylime
they look cooler and cooler everyday. great job guys. way better than sony's. -switchfoot_rocks11
awesome! I'm loving the newness of it! love the new layout as everyone else -yeahyeahSf
I was like 'WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW' These boards rock!!! great work Phil & co!!!!!! I love all the graphics! -Deborah
There we go. That's the stuff dreams are made of. Thanks. :p -Christina
I love that these boards are so much simpler, you've done a great job! -Pam
these are some of the best type of message boards around. -the o show
Glad y'all dig!
These boards are highly expandable and we'll soon be rolling out the image gallery section and the downloads section (both of which are currently inactive) - so you can share your SF pictures, rare & bootleg tracks, videos, etc. amongst yourselves, comment on or rate what goes up, have Top 10 lists, and so on. There's a lot more we plan to do with it, but what we have so far (besides message boards) is a live chat room where registered members can have Instant Messaging (IM) chats with each other - it's been fun times hanging out there with some of you. Also, you can share/find the official bootlegs (live recordings) of shows this tour here, or volunteer to help at the merch table at your show here. Aaaand, you'll have a profile page where people can leave you comments or add you as a friend... kind of like a private myspace just for switchfoot fans!
2. Brand new Daily Foot The "Daily Foot" tour journal has gone the switchFEED way. Blog style. You can now comment, subscribe, etc. Click the Daily Foot tile at the top of this page to check it out. Andy Barron is really just a magician. See his pictures for proof. You never need to miss a Switchfoot show. ;)
3. New switchFEED / what's in store When switchFEED (this blog) first became the band's official blog, we mirrored it on switchfoot.com using an RSS feed - a copy of the blog - that would check every 5 minutes or so if the original blog had been updated, and if so, would update the one at switchfoot.com. But this method was unreliable as we had frequent downtimes, and it wouldn't show up properly for some people. So now I've gotten rid of the feed, the middle-man, and instead redesigned the switchfeed.com blogspot to look like switchfoot.com's feed page, so the blog at switchfoot.com and the actual blog are one and the same (not copies). Yes, this means the original switchFEED layout and some of its features are gone, but...
Besides restoring some of those features over the coming days, we have some exciting plans for switchFEED - we wanna make it something truly run by the fan community, where all of you have an equal chance to post. To accomplish this, we're working on moving switchFEED to the homepage of the boards, completely integrated with it. Here's a sneak peek of the work in progress. Once this is done, the blog on this page would be used for the more important news/announcements, for the band members to post, etc. - like a band's homepage blog should be - a blog with the more casual fan in mind - While the fan-run blog on the boards/community site would cover all kinds of Switchfoot-related stuff, for the dedicated fan's needs.
We'll keep you posted.
Aaaand, the inevitable question. What about the MOTW? MOTW = MP3 of the Week, for starters. It's a column we ran (on the old switchFEED, not here on switchfoot.com) where we introduced readers to an indie artist once a week, with a brief review and a free song download. This column was well-loved by y'all, and some of you have been outspoken about its absence due to the above recent changes. It was one of my favourite things about switchFEED - and I promise it's not the end of the road for the MOTW. We're working out a way we can continue sampling great new artists for you, so stay tuned.
that's all for now, thanks for reading and have a joyous thanksgiving, -phil
Special thanks to: Greg, Alicia, Cassie, Andy J., Dale, Andy B., Katers & the moderating team, Christina, the band, and everyone who's helped out with the above in some way or the other, or just participated in the discussion threads! You guys rule.
Below is an excerpt from a nicely written blog I found by Jeremy Gonzalez at infuzemag.com that mentions Switchfoot, Faust, Midas and Jon Foreman.
(Disclaimer: the below is the opinion of the writer, not necessarily mine or the band's.)
What if instead of being known for our political sway and ideals, that when people thought of Christians, the first thing they thought of was a group of broken people who knew they needed to be redeemed out of our fallen nature and that only Christ can do it? Maybe we wouldn’t have to have a political agenda because we could change the hearts of man instead of fighting for laws that Jesus already said could not be kept. Maybe if we were humble to start, it wouldn’t be scrutinized so much when one of us fell.
Other than a few interviews over the years, I don’t know Jon Foreman. I have never hung with him or seen him around his family. I do know his music like it was my own story, because he always seems to write what I am going through at the time I am going through it. I do know that through his words, he has started with a stance of humility and grace, and not arrogance or preachiness.
Lately, I have been struggling with my faith. Struggling with being either the man who I am supposed to be, or the man my evil, selfish, murderous, adulterous, soul wants me to be, and just in time a couple of days ago I got the pre-release of Oh! Gravity, the new album by Switchfoot. I immediately began to wear it out, until I got stuck on song number 7, a song called Faust, Midas, and Myself. Faust is the protagonist in a story about a guy who makes a pact with the devil, Midas is the mythological character that can turn anything into gold, and of course, the myself refers to Foreman. Foreman, by tying all these stories together in a 4-minute song, has proven why he is the greatest songwriter alive today. The song alludes to extra marital affairs and greed, and realizing that it’s all ugly and will not bring satisfaction. It deals with the temptation he faces because of his touch of gold. This is something everyman struggles with, this is what happened to Ted Haggard. We are evil men with deceitful hearts and in our wake we leave death and destruction to the people who call us friends and kin.
Again, I don’t know Mr. Foreman, it is possible that he would fall from the pedestal his golden talent and our need for a hero has created for him. The difference I see in him compared to other leaders inside the church today is that he is not busy doing everything he can to build his pedestal even higher. Instead, I interpret through his music a man who is continually trying to cut it down and demystify his position. A man like I want to be, who continually admits to his adulterous, murderous heart and uses that as a starting point to engage culture in need of a savior.
We can all fall and what determines how damaging that fall will be depends on how high we have elevated ourselves. How far have we separated ourselves? What happens when people won’t listen to a wealthy minister on television anymore? What happens when people want to know about a savior who had dinner with sluts and criminals? What will happen when someone asks us why we need a savior? Do we still think we need one or have we built our own kingdom? I hope that my limp is obvious, I hope my speech is slurred, and I hope that the cuts stay fresh enough for me to realize that the only way I can live is not through myself, and most of all (you won’t get this until you get to hear the song Faust, Midas, and Myself) I hope that my heart hasn’t turned to gold. The reality is not only do I have grace for Ted Haggard, I am him.
In case you wanna make sense of the Ted Haggard reference, you can read the rest of his post here. I've quoted just the Switchfoot part with some context. peace,
update: here's an early review I found to add to this post...
Switchfoot fans, be on the look out. It's nothing ground-breaking, but it is really good. It's very organic/acoustic/folk. Jon Foreman is such a great songwriter. There are very little if any electric instruments used (electric guitar, synths, electric bass, keyboard, etc.) The drums are VERY minimal to say the least. Lots of great instruments like harmonica, violins, cello, double bass, piano, acoustic guitar, trumpet, organ, and something I can't figure out what it is. Maybe an oboe. Either way, after hearing this, I can't wait to hear what's next. -- I've listed to each song about 15 times (I'm not exaggerating either.) This is a powerful EP. The lyrics are off the chart and brutally honest. The EP also highlights his insane ablility to lay down some great acoustic guitar instrumentation. Can't wait for this to hit the streets. If the next Switchfoot CD follows the same road, it's going to be great. -- A little more info:
"Millions have experienced the music of Jon Foreman through the multi-platinum success of his internationally-renown band, Switchfoot. Jon returns to his indie-scene roots by releasing four solo EPs prior to the next Switchfoot release. These EPs, titled Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer, features some of Jon's most personal songs to date with innovative arrangements and inspired and intimate production. This two disc collection features both the Fall & Winter EPs in their entirety. (The Spring EP and Summer EP will be released in a separate two disc collection later in 2008.)"
---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: jon foreman Date: Nov 4, 2007 1:07 PM Subject: Rebuild lyric...
Rebuild. Watching the world with my highway eyes watching the world from the windows that I've known these mobile homes
Loneliness was a friend of mine But with you that's through and I feel home away from home away from home away from home
oh we're the regeneration oh with time to kill oh we're the regeneration oh rebuild, rebuild
you lit a fire in the pouring rain but there's so many noisy voices oh! I get so cold.
the city lights and the midnight train I hate to say it but I get caught letting go of the things I know
do not conform to this do not conform
oh we're the regeneration oh with time to kill oh we're the regeneration oh rebuild, rebuild
every life comes with a broken heart dying here to be made whole we are the lost souls with a second start following the builder home there's a temple I've found in the strangest part where the stones are built of souls where the builder himself has promised, "love, I'm never going to let you go. Go!"
oh we're the regeneration oh with time to kill oh we're the regeneration oh rebuild, rebuild
Did anybody else save some daylight today/last night? I know I did. I almost didn't, but thankfully my cellphone and computer both knew better.
Anyway, Jon wrote a blog on his myspace entitled "unnecessarily spicy," that told us more about his adventures with Extended Play:
I'm finishing up writing down the credits and lyrics for the fall and winter ep's... I think I might end up liking winter better than fall, which is strange cause as far as seasons go, fall cannot be beaten. In my year end stats, fall is always undefeated, with a history of having an amazing offense, and a strong defense. So it's strange that musically winter would be winning...
so far here's the list for winter:
learning how to die the house of god I am still running somebody's baby behind your eyes broken from the start in love
If you didn't get to this page from the switchfoot.com pre-homepage, then I'm here to tell you to go check it out. The studio version of the song that Switchfoot wrote with Relient K (specifically for the Appetite For Construction tour), “Rebuild,” is available for downloading. This is the very first song to be officially released on Lowercase People Records! Jon writes,
Download the song, "rebuild" and give your money or your time directly to Habitat for Humanity. That way you don't need to even live in california, you can still help in your own backyard. If you've got extra cash, cool. If not, donate your time instead. Habitat is an incredible organization that has built houses from New Orleans to New Delhi for deserving individuals. After the fires die down we'll need a lot of help in San Diego.
The song features someone from all three bands on tour: ourselves, Matt T. from Relient K and Dustin from Ruth on harmonica. The song means a lot to me and I hope you enjoy it. Now is the time to rebuild. Please join us.
You can also see/hear what some of the guys have to say about working with Habitat, thanks to Drew's sweet video-documenting skills
One last thing – the date for the 4th Annual Switchfoot Bro-Am surf contest has been announced! In a myspace bulletin, the Switchfoot Bro-Am Myspace informed us that June 7th, 2008 is the day. So mark your calendars, and stay tuned for more info concerning participating artists, surf teams, sponsors and other event details.
(oh and, p.s. Andy put up Daily Foots for Mobile, AL and Baton Rouge, LA)