After years of playing is different bands, Jon Austin Weigand had a desire to write and record his own songs, capturing emotions from his own experiences, as well as what others endure through their lives. Instead of naming his solo project after his own name, Jon decided to make it a concept – Choice Or Fate. It’s a concept that has sparked intrigue with fans, creating a stronger connection between Jon and his listeners. Jon’s single, “Can’t Forgive”, is for me an incredibly special, delicious treat, especially since I was unfamiliar with his music.
The recording is unique and wonderful, showcasing Jon’s willingness to let vulnerability and delicate sensibilities not only show but soulfully shine through the grind of the music. The taste and artistry on this recording never fails to send me every time I press play.
Now I guess you’re imagining the sound of a slow ethereal piano-driven ballad. And in fact, it’s not. “Can’t Forgive” comes wrapped in a swirling sonic whirlpool of grungy rock guitars and synths, forming a warm psychedelic bed for Jon’s reverberating vocals to revel in.
Perhaps some of Choice Or Fate’s pull comes from not only Jon’s raw musical talents but also his ability to merge classic singer-songwriter sensibilities with the inspirations of those who sit on the fringes of indie, alternative, rock and pop. Jon charts his own musical trajectory, drawing on a wide-ranging field of interest, which all comes through in his music.
Peeling back the musical bombast, there’s plenty of soul-searching and haunting moments in Jon’s themes and narratives. “Can’t Forgive” strips back the shallow conventions of commercial music and looks beyond. Jon throws everything he’s got into the track and it all clicks perfectly, as the angular guitar and keys slink around the vocal.
The song shifts timbres and tones seething with Jon’s inimitable flair for epic drama within his soundscapes. In fact, “Can’t Forgive” rises above the noise to stand among the best material in his catalog set. Sinuous, sharp and serrated, it’s immediately obvious from the outset that Jon Austin Weigand is at the absolute height of his powers as a songwriter and lyricist here.
“Can’t Forgive” shows that Jon is capable of a deft touches amidst all the menacing noise. What makes Jon Austin Weigand so interesting to listen to is the vernacular with which he writes his songs. He is a songwriter who concisely harnesses understated phrasing and repackages it with added gusto.
On paper it shouldn’t work, but few writers understand as well as Jon the intricacies of melding a singer-songwriter appeal into a rock song, in the way that he does. Of course – Jon’s lyrics are the aural glue that hold everything in place. The song is characterized by inspired imagery and grounded character evaluations, where its true beauty reveals itself after multiple listens.
Since its inception Choice Or Fate has managed to continually sound fresh whilst maintaining its artistic integrity and things are no different on “Can’t Forgive”. Jon has since evolved certain factors of his sound and ventured into new territory, but “Can’t Forgive” is not so much a change of direction as it is an affirmation of all the musical elements that make the project exhilarating to begin with – inspired lyrics, intense, fleshed out instrumental backdrops, and great melodies.