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MUSIC interview


Jonny! Jonny Couch returns to Savannah with ‘Animal Instinct’ by anna chandler

Couch crooner. Photo by Michael Benabib

A peek into one music video, and it’s clear: Jonny Couch is an animal. Belting over synths in a bubble bath, clad in a signature leather fisherman’s cap, dishing out wildly exaggerated facial expressions, cracking whips, downing a slice of pizza on the toilet: perhaps the “Animal Instinct” video shows Couch at his most vulnerable, but it’s also his most overzealous, and his most entertaining. As the VHS tracking adjusts, it’s easy to slip into the Tim and Eric absurdity of Couch’s aesthetic, but for all the ‘80s-lampooning and cartoonish acting, there’s a genuine heart to the tunes on Couch’s debut EP, “Animal Instinct.” Over five tracks, cut at Savannah’s own Dollhouse Productions, New Yorker Couch unveils a character that’s often misunderstood: untamable, too hard to handle, restless. “I thought you knew the deal with me,” he woefully croons to a lover in the album’s title track. By the final seconds of closer “State of Mind,” one should have a clear picture of Couch’s deal: on a bed of pillowy, ‘80s-style synth ballads and boisterous power-pop, all silliness is reflected back with a true sense of musicianship and earnestness. Being the center of attention is new for seasoned player Couch. “I started out as a drummer, just a drummer, in bands, basically doing whatever people told me to do, playing drums to their songs,” he explains. In the mid-2000s, Couch formed The Choke, a pop-infused punk band with vintage flair. “I finally became a writer,” he shares. “I was the drummer in that band, but I co-wrote all the material with the guitar player and became more of a songwriter.” Now that he’s “gone solo,” Couch has moved from behind the drum kit and to the edge of the stage. “I have a full backing band, so I can go crazy and just sing and jump on audience members,” he laughs. Stepping into the spotlight was a little nerve-wracking in the beginning. “I’m not used to being the lead singer,” he says. “It came out of necessity, to just want to do my own music. This particular album is more me than anything else I’ve done, because I’m writing all the material myself. Luckily, I’ve done standup in college, and that’s actually worse, because then you don’t even have a band backing you up onstage. You’re vulnerable. Because I’ve done standup, I was able to become a frontman with a backing

NOV 9-15, 2016

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Profile for Connect Savannah

Connect Savannah November 9, 2016  

Connect Savannah November 9, 2016