Multi-instrumentalist Matthew Tonner has been well known in Orlando musical circles for years, but more as part of other bands like the 502s and Laney Jones. More recently he has ventured solo as simply thunder, a project that is definitely distinct from his previous ensemble work.
On his own, Tonner’s sound maps moody pop territory that leans more towards electronics and R&B, a format that highlights the production and keyboard aspects of his vast musical repertoire. After debuting in 2020 with the eight song whispers in the dark, this solo project is finally back with the new release of the single “Suspense”, now available everywhere.
While Tonner returns here with an intimate ballad, it’s just the start of a salvo of singles planned for the next few months. These tracks – all done entirely by Tonner himself, save for a single guest appearance by Jordan Shih de Sales – will unfold like a surging procession of cold gloss pop brushed with svelte electronic R&B contours.
When Tonner debuted in 2020, his solo aesthetic sounded exploratory. But based on my advanced previews so far, expect this follow-up batch to reveal a marked evolution with deeper, more natural grooves. The culmination of these singles will be an album slated for release in September.
Orlando trad-country combo the Oak Hill Dinghies are keeping their current production at a high rate and high quality with another song release this Friday. Singer Rachel Decker tells me that the jubilant single “Shindig” — about getting together again for a party — was written when the pandemic seemed to show signs of thawing. While that sentiment turned out to be a bit premature, the song is an absolute swinger that will at least get you out of the rut of reality for a few minutes. With a big bayou party twist via a star appearance by Beth McKee on the accordion, this one will trot boots and shake cigarette butts. “Shindig” airs everywhere on February 11.