Jono McCleery – “This Idea Of Us” (Stereogum Premiere)

British crooner Jono McCleery is on the cusp of releasing his third album, Pagodes but he’s still a relatively new name stateside. His latest track “This Idea Of Us” will probably the one that changes that fact, splitting the difference between close-picked guitar and more elegant, complicated string-work. Juxtapositions like that are a hallmark of McCleery’s style; he’s an expert on mixing jazz and samba flourishes with simpler folk and songwriting elements. Sensibilities of classical compositions lurk in the corners of his songs, but never overpower his sharp, modern songwriting technique.

The intricate melodies on “This Idea Of Us” work like a web to support his precise, cutting lyrics. It’s a track about the unreal world we build out of still-developing love. “I don’t know you / So you are mostly who I want you to be,” McCleery sings, summing up the way our fantasies about someone color their reality. Previously, we’ve heard “Clarity,” a slower, staccato take on uncanny moments of epiphany. “This Idea Of Us” is more urgent than “Clarity,” as those intoxicating first days of a new romance tend to be. Listen below.

Pagodes is out 10/2 via If Music/Ninja Tune. Pre-order it here.