The craft of songwriter Jason Blynn, aka J. Blynn, has been on display in projects such as Harper Blynn (which became Mosco Rosco), Motor Sales, Soff Serve and Yay Blynn, along with other assorted co-writing and/or production work for a host of artists.
During the pandemic, Blynn stationed himself in Melbourne, Australia (the hometown of his partner) and began work on his second solo album. The first, an endearing if succinct collection of lo-fi folk, was released in 2017 under the name Yay Blynn, but for the new, far more ambitious album “Blue Dream” (out last month), he adopted the name Dandelion Head (an affectionate nickname given to him by his grandmother).
Co-produced with Aussie Sean Kenihan, “Blue Dream” brims with inviting grooves and aw-shucks wisdom as Blynn navigates the emotions of a chaotic, connectivity-starved world and being a new father. Kurt Vile and the War on Drugs have been mentioned as sonic touchstones.
Album opener “Love on Your Side” has a classic ’70s vibe; “Sad Eyes” tugs the right heartstrings; and “Cave Dancer,” with its breezy guitar solo and tasty saxophone, sounds plucked from a playlist of lost soft-rock smash hits. The tender whistler “First Chill of Winter” that follows it on “Blue Dream” lands like a bear hug.
Dandelion Head’s run-up to the album included a host of videos, included one for the the Max Knight-directed “Cave Dancer” (filmed in Pasadena) and another for “Love on Your Side,” directed by the duo The Hotel Naomi (Lewis and Callum Mitchell). Filmed in and around Melbourne’s Chinatown, “Love on Your Side” has Blynn alternately frolicking through the streets, rose in hand, and high in the sky slugging a beverage with ironworkers. “If you love just right / [it] feels like you got so much to lose,” he croons, advocating for giving oneself over to love despite its perils. It’s enough to get you high.
||| Watch: The videos for “Love on Your Side” and “Cave Dancer”
||| Also: Stream “Blue Dream” in its entirety