The passion to create has driven John Southworth for the last sixteen years, resulting in a steady collection of peculiar, quirky, fascinating and often brilliant songs.

Considering that in today’s world records that would have sold 500 copies a few years ago don’t even cover production costs these day, John’s creativity is truly an exercise in lost dollars for the need to create art.

Even with a completely unique and indescribable sound and a history of creative exploration, Southworth’s latest endeavor is still shocking. Pairing with Juno winning cello/bassist Andrew Downing, Easterween tells a tale more suited for Russian literature and metaphysical journeys that 21-century recordings.

A 500-year-old magician. A ruthless, multinational egg corporation. A love story between a Hasidic girl and an Amish boy. A band of sauciers and dumpling bakers. An egg-hunt of cosmic proportions to save us all from eternal winter.

Easterween explores a truly bizarre narrative through antique to create something magical. It’s equal part madness, cabaret, surprisingly melodic explorations and considering the audience Southworth and Dowling are attempting to connect with, it’s incredibly brave. Easterween is intricate, well thought out and even the duo venture into their most dramatic arrangements and emotions, the songs are still gripping.

I know this record won’t sell enough to justify the effort and heart put into such a unique project in the mind of a casual music fan, but records like Easterween (and admittedly, there is nothing like Easterween) are what push boundaries and keep musicians progressing.

I’ve listened to the record for weeks, still can’t fully process the minute details or settle into a looping repeat, but for the 55-minutes Easterween escapes my speakers, it controls me. Considering the constant flood of stimulation we deal with on a daily basis, that is an accomplishment that can’t be overlooked.

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MP3:: John Southworth & Andrew Downing - Nip it in the Bud