Published on October 31st, 2018



Avant garde, experimental, instrumental music may not be the first thing the average person would pick out to jam to, but Unwed Sailor is here to prove that decision to be folly. The brainchild of Jonathan Ford, Unwed Sailor treads in territory usually reserved for the Tangerine Dreams, Kronos Quartets, Goblin loving audiophiles; basically, people who collect score soundtracks from movies. While that may not mean much to the casual music listener, for the rest of us that’s pretty awesome!

Jonathan Ford is from Oklahoma, originally and he cut his teeth in bands such as: Roadside Monument and Pedro the Lion. He started Unwed Sailor in 1998 while writing new tunes that didn’t quite fit with Roadside Monument’s vibe. Mike DaRonco of Allmusic called the Firecracker e.p., “Beautifully crafted pop that doesn’t utter a single word… Unlike fellow instrumental indie outlet Tristeza, Unwed Sailor can be appreciated as something other than background music.” Sick burn, dude.


Unwed Sailor seems to be more of an amalgamation of BATTLES and John Carpenter’s movie music; with the latter having recently completed some very successful shows. It seems the tide could be turning for serious mood music. Unwed Sailor’s output is constantly fantastic and is always attempting to up the ante with experimentation. The newest record, Take A Minute, is 24 minutes of dream-pop, cowboy twang and spacey expeditions. It’s not quite as out there as, say, Perrey and Kingsley, the loop masters who invented audio pastiche in the 1960’s by blending loops and moogs, but it’s definitely a descendant.

If none of this post made sense to you, try this: Unwed Sailor paints beautiful soundscapes that wash over an aural canvas with sounds that evoke not only emotion, but color. If one were to close their eyes and listen intently, the story would unfold before them, with no words, no images and no preconceived notion of the saga. Unwed Sailor tells a tale with instruments, which is a very difficult thing for anyone to do. Even John Carpenter is making music to go with his visuals. In the world of Unwed Sailor, visuals are completely unnecessary.

Unwed Sailor plays Voltaire Tuesday, November 6 w Glass Body, doors are at 8pm. ~ Tim Moffatt

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