Music

Couch Sessions Approved Free Download: Jahmal Tonge – To Mitigate Friends & Lovers

by Winston "Stone" Ford

This is not what I signed for.
My aims and pains should mean more.

Still vices come for me.
And won’t let my mind be.
My love, don’t cry for me.
I lose but you won’t see.

This is not what I signed for.
My aims and pains should mean more.

I once called my homie Jahmal Tonge the best voice in North America. I’m not lying.

Most of y’all know Jahmal from the Toronto-based band, The Carps, which The Couch Sessions has dutifully promoted for over 4 years now. Well, unfortunately, The Carps have broken up, however Jahmal is moving on to drum for such T.O. bands as the Styrofoam Ones and Thunderheist.

But it’s his solo album, To Mitigate Friends & Lovers that’s got my attention. Forget the auto-tune and slick production, Tonge strips down the music to its most basic element. Soulful vocals and a guitar. Recorded shortly after the breakup of The Carps during Christmas 2009, Friends & Lovers… stands up there with any album that’s dropping at the record store today. The writing, is introspective, and downright beautiful, and the voice….amazing.

I might be biased, but this is one of the best albums I’ve heard this year. Fans of The Carps will be pleased, and people who are looking for a little different soul on their plate will be amazed.

Download To Mitigate Friends & Lovers from Bandcamp and follow @jahmaltonge on Twitter.