Jefferson Thomas

Both vulnerable and occasionally virtuosic in spirit, Jefferson Thomas’ verses have never been quite as vivid as they are in the emotional “Greyhound Bus.” Released this spring in single and video formats, “Greyhound Bus” sees the alternative singer/songwriter hashing out some of the most poetic work he’s submitted to date. His passion is off the charts, while his melding of countrified twang and pop/rock swagger is something to be marveled at all on its own. There are a lot of interesting players utilizing themes from heartland rock and indie folk at the same time this season, but not many with the kind of heart this burgeoning troubadour is sporting. 


Beyond the lyrics, the guitars create a lot of emotion in “Greyhound Bus” that wouldn’t have been as pronounced as it is amidst the muscular melodies here. By using instrumentation to contextualize his statements rather than drawing contrast together (as his mainstream rivals have lately), Jefferson Thomas makes it difficult for us to walk away uninspired by the narrative in this track. The music video is everything that it should be – shots, soundtrack and solid charisma – but even if it hadn’t been made, this would still be a very imagistic composition in its own right. There isn’t much of a bass presence to the mix here, but I can certainly understand why. To have included any more of a low-end component in the groove of the drums would have made “Greyhound Bus” sound dreadfully overindulgent (which is never a good look in this genre). Jefferson Thomas knows by now that steering clear of unnecessary bells and whistles tends to yield the best results both in the studio and on the road, and in this release, he sets a good example for his younger counterparts in pop/rock to follow.

The music video for “Greyhound Bus” looks, feels and plays out like a visual scrapbook. Designed exclusively to suit the needs of the material, it’s clear that Thomas had an intimate hand in making this content as well. He strikes me as the kind of artist who has to be hands-on with a project in order to give the audience as much of himself as possible, and in this single – and its music video – we get to experience his efforts without any plasticized filtration. As sad as it is to admit, that’s asking a lot out of any artist these days, yet it comes without request from this particular musician. Jefferson Thomas delivers another smashing listen in his latest release, and if you haven’t already heard his work, I’d recommend starting with “Greyhound Bus.” This has been one of the more uniquely transitional periods in the history of the American underground, but hybridity appears to be leading the charge into the 2020s more than any other artistic concept is. 

Thomas is definitely doing an ace job of pulling together his eclectic influences inside of one smooth package here, and if it’s something he’s able to replicate in the future, he’s going to see a lot of success through the years.

Trace Whittaker


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