With the release of their début full-length album Grow (Sumerian) in 2015, Californian’s Chon found themselves standing out from a peer group they were arguably unfairly lumped in. Perhaps due to the Sumerian Records ties, but their début saw them linked to the contemporary Tech/Metalcore scene despite their sound being more technical, but smooth jazz with little to no signs of metal whatsoever. If such pigeonholing was unfair back then, on new album Homey (Sumerian), any comparisons to the like would prove practically absurd.
Described as an album influenced and almost conceptually based on the music of Southern California and on what they grew up listening to, Homey widely expands their palette; both through a simplification of style in some cases and the use of wider ranges and influences elsewhere.
The likes of ‘Sleepy Tea’ and ‘No Signal’ offer their familiar jazz fusion elements prove even more accessible than on Grow, whilst the likes of ‘CHONxGoYama: Berry Streets’ embraces modern-day pop effects to give an airy and upbeat atmosphere. Virtually a completely instrumental outfit, Homey does see some sparing guest vocal appearances such as Masego’s alternating between smooth Hip-Hop singing and simple rapping on ‘CHONxLophile: Nayhoo’, where even these exist to heighten and accentuate melody rather than necessarily dominate proceedings.
With a wide palette that incorporates pop and Hip Hop elements from today and beyond with vibrant but undaunting jazz fusion, Homey is a very youthful and exhilarating effort which does a superb job of scene setting; whilst offering an equal dash of complexity with an easy listening vibe. Ironically, in comparison to previous album Grow, Homey sees considerable progress on top of it and should see them become a much bigger entity in our world, with such a big audience to potentially attract.