A disturbing experience fuels a personal epiphany for Bomethius in his moving new single and video Traffic — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
One day, Texas singer-songwriter Jonathan Hodges was driving down Highway 75 when he got cut off. On its surface, the incident wasn’t special; people get cut off, and Hodges, while incensed, didn’t think much of it. Then, he noticed everyone was stopping, and he soon saw why: A terrible wreck had occurred, and at least one passenger had clearly died. “I hated the guy who cut me off because I felt superior to and threatened by his senselessness, and I pitied the victims of the wreck because it made me aware of what could just as easily have happened to me,” he says. “In both cases my reactions were really just all about me, and it occurred to me that we don’t love strangers until after they’re victims.”
This jarring incident incited the kind of honest, searing introspection for which Hodges is known, and inspired the new single and video for Traffic. Set to a disarmingly bouncy shuffle tastefully decorated with breezy guitars and Hodges’ tender vocals, the deceptively powerful number introduces Seasons Of Limbo, his fifth Bomethius album, which arrives March 26.
“It’s my most accessible record yet, and also my most collaborative,” says Hodges, whose work has been compared to Buddy Holly, M. Ward, Andrew Bird and Elliott Smith. “And even though I was working on it well before the pandemic started, it seems fitting that it’s called Seasons of Limbo. This has been a season of limbo for all of us, and the album reflects that. I find it a bit hilarious that my most collaborative record to date was recorded during the single most isolating period of my, or hopefully any existence — and I was homeschooled!”
Ten different musicians contributed their talents to his new record, and with their help, Hodges crafted a collection of songs tackling everything from marriage to hell to Christmas. Hodges, who has recorded and performed as Bomethius since 2017, has developed a penchant for truthful, moving storytelling, where the lyrics are at least as important as the music. Like a great novelist, he is a keen observer of the human condition and the ironies therein.
“Seasons of Limbo is a record that seeks to bring hope to people, but to be honest I wrote it to bring hope to myself. Whereas in the past I may have spent too much time trying to write clever songs that fed into the idiosyncratic manic indifference of my alias, on this record I endeavored to write sincere songs that made me feel better; that ministered to my hurts and anxieties; that felt like I had actually said something that could perhaps even be misconstrued as truth; and some days I like to hope that I almost succeeded… What I hope this record does is exemplify the innermost struggle to remember the big picture, to love people, to be grateful, and to laugh, especially when we feel like we’re in the outermost circle of hell.”
During the pandemic, music has been the force bringing Hodges closer to people, and for that, the artist is thankful. Now, he hopes his latest record can bring the same spirit of thankfulness to his listeners. “As with all of my work, I hope Seasons of Limbo elevates the quality of suffering for anyone who takes the time to listen to it,” he says. “And if it does, (though more hilariously, if it does not) please don’t be shy about reaching out to let me know.”