Two of the most complex emotions that we face in this life might just belong to matters of the heart: love and sex. Without the obviousness and a dictionary definition, what are they? Singer and songwriter, Michael Johns has it figured out in his own style. His new EP, Love and Sex, a three track release arrived in digital music stores this past Tuesday and showcases a mutual vulnerability and angst regarding the subject.
Johns, who released his debut album Hold Back My Heart nearly four years ago has undergone a fascinating transformation, emerging as an artist who truly understands and feels for his music. With everything he has done since his debut, listeners can hear a vocal and lyrical maturity showing an impressive artistic growth in Love and Sex that delivers and encompasses raw passion, desire and that burning love within the three track EP.
I caught up with the ever congenial and charming, Michael Johns to talk Love and Sex and as always, he’s an absolute delight to talk to. He shares that he was strictly in the mood to write this specific collection of music so he did it, without any intention. That’s a notable characteristic within Johns and shows how versatile he is as a singer and songwriter.
“I’ve always just written for whatever mood I'm in. I definitely have written in a lot of genres [and] I'm not ever going to be pigeon holed,” he tells me.
We discuss what the EP is all about, without the obvious wording and he shares that it’s got an overall sexiness feel. “I think it really is about the sexiness that comes from two people, either just meeting each other and [their] chemistry flies or knowing someone, and while being in love can still find their sexy,” Johns says.
He tells me he teamed up for this EP with Tim Anderson, best known for Ima Robot, a Los Angeles based band formed in the 1990s. “He’s a sexy beast,” Johns jokes.
In terms of how long it took to write this EP, he tells me how it was literally over four to five writing sessions and that there are more tracks but he hasn’t got them to a place where he’s pleased with the outcome just yet. “Even these are a work in progress,” he says modestly. “I just wanted to give the fans something as it’s been so long.”
One cannot help but see how eloquently he translated his emotions and thoughts into three perfectly written and arranged songs. The first track on Love and Sex is called “The First Time” and is a provocative tune wrapped in an undeniably sexy arrangement. Johns’ vulnerable tones are the highlight of this lyrical piece where one can hear the sheer genuine tenderness of a man’s longing to be with the one he’s got his sights set on. It’s libidinousness at its best.
The second track, “Cry, Cry, Cry” is a bouncy tune about the doubts one faces when surviving the pitfalls of love and their fears of moving forward with their heart. Johns has a great talent for shifting tones from song to song with his voice while grabbing heartstrings and proving to the listener how he can relate. His voice isn’t just another smooth one, it’s genuinely ardent and you can hear it in the pulls.
The third track, “Take A Little Hit” comes off alluring and laid back with a sensual tone. The song itself feels like a deep spiral down into lust’s oblivion and finds Johns exploring the inviting and sensuous world of everything it includes: love and sex, being the summarization of feelings and thoughts in the overall EP. Love and sex, in their own respective rights bring about another degree of complexities to any dynamic. Where on one side, love can be complicated without sex, sex too can be complicated without love.
As for revealing when his next album will release, he’s fetchingly mum about the subject. “That I can't tell you! I need to stop touring and gigging so much. I've got to buckle down in the studio.”
Lately, Johns has been performing and showcasing his talent everywhere from Celebrity Fight Night, benefitting The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Arizona to the BritWeek Charity Gala to David Foster's 25th Anniversary Gala and Concert in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada held last month.
From June 18 to the 23, Johns will be performing at the Adventura Cove Palace in Riveria Maya, Mexico for the Summer with the Stars event. Tickets are still available for those interested in attending.
As for what’s next for the Aussie crooner, he shares there’s a lot. “Lots, trust me! I just have to wrap my head around it all,” he laughs. “I ain’t tapped out yet!”
As an added bonus for listeners, if you sign up for the Michael Johns Online newsletter over at his official fanpage, you will get a free download of his acoustic demo, “Tail Lights”.
Stay tuned for the second part of my interview next week with Michael Johns, as we explore "love and sex" beyond the music.
- Album Review: Hold My Back My Heart (Michael Johns)
- Michael Johns Shows Off His “Heart On My Sleeve” Today
- Album Review: Don’t Look Down – The Height of Competition (Michael Johns)