Jon Foreman didn’t leave the “h” out of his name because he can’t spell.  He didn’t forget the rules of Wheel of Fortune and think he had to buy consonants, finding himself only able to afford two for his first name.  No, he leaves the “h” out just because he can.

That’s how cool he is.

You probably know Jon Foreman from the band Switchfoot, which has been around since 1996, but he’s got some great solo stuff that you should check out.

I actually only own a few of his songs, because most of his solo stuff isn’t available on e-music, and since I’m danged near broke, I don’t like to pay $1 per download.  So until e-music gets more Jon Foreman up, I’ll have to listen to my three songs of his over and over again.  Life is so cruel sometimes…

But let’s move on from there.  Jon Foreman released his first solo EP (Fall) beginning in November 2007.  Oh, he released the album called Fall in the fall… what genius.  From then he’s gone on to record Winter, Spring, and Summer, all released in their respective seasons.  I’ve wanted to score all the EPs but I’ve only managed to get one song from Fall and another from Spring… and if those two songs are any indication, the whole set of EPs has gotta be awesome.

I like Switchfoot as a band, but I appreciate what Foreman has been able to accomplish with the EPs.  The lyrics are very real, very honest, sometimes sad but never depressing.  Musically, the EPs are really scaled back.  Acoustic guitar, tambourines, quiet drums in the background, a few lead guitar parts that never stand out more than Jon or the acoustic guitar.  With the combination of honest lyrics and scaled down music, it feels like being invited into a private conversation just between Jon and God.

The other solo song I have of Jon Foreman is off the album Nashville Classic Covers: Volume One.  His cover of Hank Williams’ classic “Your Cheatin’ Heart” captures the haunting guilt a song like that needs.  Hank would be proud.

On his MySpace page, Jon talks a little about writing songs.  Referring specifically to his Fall EP, he says:

I don’t write many happy songs, at least not lately. Which is odd because I’m a fairly upbeat guy. So I’ve got a few theories as to why this might be the case: It might be because life wears down on you. And you lose that part of yourself.

Or it could be because the songs are the only place where these types of ideas can find a release- like a dream where your subconscious is trying to tell you something.

Or perhaps I don’t write songs when I’m happy. You know, a celebration requires a few friends and depression requires solitude.

Either way songs have become my way of finding beauty in the midst of chaos and the pain. It’s a way of finding redemption for mistakes and regrets that I have.

On that sullen note, here’s two songs from Jon Foreman. Hope you like ’em and then grab up the rest of his stuff:

Your Cheatin’ Heart (from Nashville Classic Covers: Volume One) – Download – Stream
Your Love is Strong (from Spring EP) – Download – Stream


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