This week’s local artist spotlight goes out to Lonas, the self described “nostalgia rock” solo project of Louis Johnson. Also known as one half of the Saint Johns, his recent independent releases mark a sharp departure from his usual folk style. Where the Saint Johns give us gentle Americana, Lonas is more groovy — and on latest single “Maserati,” political.
After 2020’s Youth EP and follow up Youth ll, Johnson recently put out double single “Maserati” and “Anxious Life.” On the former he takes aim at affluence and extravagance, citing the dream of a socialist democracy as his inspiration.
Catchy and dancy, “Maserati” is the kind of song you (fittingly) want to drive around to. In all its mocking it manages to avoid cynicism, instead adopting an upbeat poking-fun kind of energy. Johnson may take problem with the lavish lifestyles of the wealthy few, and he isn’t afraid to contrast it directly with his own, but his choice of example keeps the track down to earth and accessible. Anyone can relate to the exasperation he feels upon sighting a luxury vehicle alongside him on the road. In the same vein, just about anyone will be able to get on board and sing along to this track.
Johnson has had a prolific start to the new year. Along with “Maserati” and “Anxious Life,” the Saint Johns recently dropped a new single called “On the Outside Looking In.” 2021 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the musician, both in his band and as a soloist. Lonas is one to watch.
We’ll be playing “Maserati” throughout the week as we feature Lonas as our Local Artist of the Week. Catch it live on-air at 100.1FM on your dial or streaming live at lightning100.com.