Today, Detroit-based singer and producer John FM has announced he’ll release his new EP American Spirit with XL Recordings / Remote Control Records. Initially self-released late last year on Bandcamp, American Spirit is an extraordinary project filled with the unique, dismantled Hi-Tech Soul music that John FM has tacitly become known for. Available today on all digital streaming services with vinyl to follow on June 25th, the news of the re-release is accompanied by a music video for the EP’s lead track ‘February’ filmed by John FM’s frequent collaborator Omar S, over the course of a sporadic day trip to the Capital of Funk in Dayton, Ohio. Watch the video for ‘February’HERE and check out the details of the upcomingAmerican Spirit vinyl release HERE.
‘February’ opens the EP with a soundbite of a storm and a song from a local elder instructing that “We burn the wicked with the real hot, hot fire.” With additional arrangements and mixing by Detroit DJ and producer Black Noi$e, the introductory clip gives way to a smothered soul ballad that according to John FM tells the story of a love triangle and a break-up.
“At the close of 2020’s long, hot summer of racial reckoning in America, the DJ and producer surfaced with his sober collection of songs entitled American Spiritthat trace the last five years of his personal and musical journey,” writes DeForrest Brown, Jr. in a bespoke essay for John FM’s American Spirit that can be read in full HERE. Originally released as a 5-song project digitally, the vinyl release out June 25th will feature a hypnotic reimagining of the EP’s lead single ‘Forever‘ by New York producer AceMo.
With FADER exclaiming, “Detroit techno’s soul has found its latest flag-bearer,” off the back of John FM’s 2017 projects Where My Roots Lie (FXHE) and ‘Ricochet / …And Then Leave‘ (The Trilogy Tapes), American Spirit is the project to solidify that, with Resident Advisor noting, “the full breadth of John FM’s primary instrument, his voice, comes across.” While John FM has been an active part of the Detroit underground music scene for the best part of the last decade, lending his voice most recently to tracks for house and techno music pioneer Omar S’s 2020 release You Want and New York producer AceMo’s single ‘Where They At???‘American Spirit puts John at the forefront of his musical narrative and the result is captivating.