Jon Bap‘s latest full-length album, Yesterday’s Homily, is a sonic exploration of free jazz, jazz fusion, funk, and more, as Bap looks at the duality of life with a fearless optimism.
“The album is about duality, going through life’s cycles, learning lessons but continuing to fuck up and being ok with it,” Bap says about Yesterday’s Homily, his latest project. Clocking in at almost 44 minutes, the album embodies this theme both lyrically and musically, the bouncy and odd time signatures of “Queen Chimera Pt. 1” emboldening its decree: “And with the way it’s set up for us/We gon’ party ’cause it’s never gon’ end.”
Existentially, it’s easy to explore the idea with a certain poignancy or sadness, the question of existence serving as catalyst to an unending string we’ll surely never know the answers to. But it’s comforting to hear Bap take on these heavy matters with humor and a light heart, building a fun and inventive suite of funk, soul, and R&B that keeps spirits high on the journey.
But as easy as the sequence can be, Homily manages to challenge and engage through and through. Along with the unconventional signatures, Bap takes his time on certain cuts, allowing silent, dissonant introductions or sampled conversations to grow into intricate compositions that test and reward attentive listeners. “I’ve strayed away from smooth, twangy, pretty guitar songs for Homily,” Bap says. “This album isn’t about making pretty shit.”
Like its predecessors Let It Happen and What Now?, Homily is best enjoyed from cover-to-cover, which is why this stream of the album is continuous. “It just makes more sense this way,” Bap says. “The album doesn’t really have a lot of songs that you’re supposed to replay individually. The songs are there for the album experience.”
Yesterday’s Homily serves as a reminder that yes, life is bizarre and weird, but it’s fucking beautiful, too.
Stream Jon Bap’s new album above ahead of its official release this Friday, October 6th.