“Hometowns have a way of keeping a part of you,” says Durand Jones, regarding his forthcoming solo debut album. Wait Til I Get Over is a veneration project an abstracted and contemporary oral tradition that passes story down from (and heaps homage upon) his hometown of Hillaryville, Louisiana.
Jones lays us several courses and flavors of sound that are all distinctly Southern and Black rhythms heavy with raw, Delta grit; bright exhalations of church spirituals; even tender, cadent spoken word. But most importantly, each track is an arc quite literally grounded in the story, the feeling, and the sound of what it means to go home. Taken as a whole, Wait Til I Get Over joins albums like Sound & Color, A Seat at the Table, and WE ARE as a mesmerizing new addition to Southern Black music, affirming Jones as a uniquely gifted artist and vanguard of the form.
As one of the singers and principle songwriters of his band Durand Jones and the Indications, Jones’s professional creative efforts have been, for the most part, in aggregate. On Wait Til I Get Over, Jones leans into the vulnerability of his singular perspective, delivering something utterly distilled and potent. Of these songs, most of which were conceived as far back as 2014, Jones writes in the album’s liner notes that “They called out to me at truck stops. In tour vans and buses. In James Baldwin’s novels and lonely diners. A backstage mirror. An Eartha Kitt documentary. Or any random piano along the way...”
Ultimately, Wait Til I Get Over is a study in Jones’s relationship to his roots: to a Black, country, barefoot childhood; to the verdant Gulf South; to his elders; to his queerness. “Through this process I’ve come to learn that I am a proud descendent of Longshoremen on the river, and sugarcane and rice farmers on the land - all in the deep rural south of Louisiana. I am a proud son of Hillaryville and I am proud to be a part of its legacy. This is my story.”
For all the ways Wait Til I Get Over is a bracingly beautiful musing on the past, it equally honors his present and future as Jones has and continues to come into his own. “I wish I could tell my younger self, ‘You don’t have to stick to the dreams people have for you. You can dream bigger. You are more than capable. You are more than able.’”
There’s no room for nonbelievers here.