Prolific artist, producer and film composer Jon Brion’s creative work has encompassed everything from film scores for movies like Lady Bird, Punch Drunk Love and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, to collaborations with musicians like Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Kanye West, Mac Miller and many more. Today, he announces a remastered edition of his lone 2001 debut album Meaningless, due out October 21 via Jealous Butcher Records. The coveted collection is a master course in art rock songwriting and production, borrowing from Anglophile rock, the American songbook and folk-rock jangle, and will be available on vinyl + digitally for the first time ever! Alongside the announcement, he shares the opening track “Gotta Start Somewhere.”
The track is a surging anthem dedicated to overcoming doubt and putting creativity into motion. “I just started throwing things on it,” Brion says of his layered drums, percussion, electronic gurgles, and cascading sounds. He worked fast — “I mean real fast,” Brion shares. He’d wake up, have some tea, record, and then in the evening, head to Largo, the comedy and music club where his regular performances helped make him a West Coast name of note.
The 11-track collection — which includes co-writes with Aimee Mann, Grant Lee Philips and Jeff McGregor and a cover of Cheap Trick’s “Voices” — offers a vivid backdrop for Brion’s wry observations on love, reality, identity and the elusive nature of purpose. Though he hadn’t yet created his numerous acclaimed film scores, Meaningless suggests his future success as a movie music composer. Its widescreen quality is immediately apparent, the songs suggesting similar thematic territory to those great films.
For much of its life, Meaningless has been hard to get ahold of, having only been available on CD in very limited quantities directly from the artist. More than two decades later, this new edition from Jealous Butcher Records offers a chance to glimpse Brion as a one-of-a-kind pop auteur.