9FM: Green And Blue For Blackness

9FM - Ninth Floor Mannequin

If you’ve been following our website for the past few months then you may have heard of 9FM –  Ninth Floor Mannequin. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the man behind the “mannequin” a little bit since featuring him. Let me tell you Jarrod Pedone is a true musician as well as an artist. The music is just the tip of the iceberg of 9FM…the story behind the music is about as real as it gets.

You see, Jarrod was running one day and was hit by a drunk driver to which he has no memory. He was in a coma for days to which he finally awoke from. To this day he says that he can’t feel parts of his body, can’t taste, can’t smell but he says, “I’m ok with that.”

I don’t know about you but when I hear a story like that (and that was the abridged version!), I have to stop and listen. He tells the story so “nonchalant” that I feel like he’s skipping over some details that I would love to hear about but he probably doesn’t want to talk about. Interesting fact: most of his music is based around binge watching The Twilight Zone while recovering from his accident, hence the name Ninth Floor Mannequin.

9FM – Ninth Floor Mannequin

So, let’s dive into the music! He recently put out a full length project Green & Blue for Blackness. I’m going to be honest, this is one of the best projects I have heard this year, period. I could compare so many influences or what I would think would be influences, but Jarrod mixes everything together so well that it truly stands on its own. The other night I started writing the review and just ended up sitting and listening to the entire record straight through. I was honestly moved by the story and melodic structure. I haven’t listened to an album straight through like that in years, no joke.

The first track “Absences” is an obvious standout. We have featured it on our podcast before, and Indie Music Plus co-owner David Werba has raved about this song many times as one of his favorites. In “Absences” the driving four on the floor kick starts out the tune perfectly and keeps it driving throughout. If I remember correctly the song is about the drug Fentanyl which is a powerful synthetic opiate analgesic similar to but more potent than morphine. Jarrod is not advocating for the use of this drug. He’s writing about his experience with it in the hospital while recovering…although he doesn’t remember a bit of using it because he was in a coma.

9FM is self contained. He writes, produces and plays every instrument on the recordings. The production can go from minimal like the intro of “Candor (Captor’s Lament)” to the explosive choruses that come directly after. I find there is a lot of catch and release in the music that resonates throughout the entire record. “Catch and release” is a term I use when an artist is good at letting a song breath and get dramatic or intense, but is able to reel it back when needed. This is catch and release and Jarrod is a master.

“Snakebit” seems to be a popular song on the project. I noticed it right away when listening for the first time, and Jarrod mentioned it to me as well that people seem to be attracted to it. I can see why! The intro is spacey and surreal with what sounds like a banjo carrying on in the background. The chorus shoots right into a straight ahead beat with heavy and echoed vocals while asking some deep questions. The vocals are what take the tune for me with their smooth harmonies that clash for brief moments, but they always sound good and fit together. This track also highlights the vocal abilities of 9FM.

“The Company” is as good of a song as it is a story. Jarrod’s music has substance and this song is a prime example. Let’s never mind the amazing music on this one for a moment…the back story is about a family that lived in the pioneer days. The family had a house where they would invite Western travelers to have dinner and stay the night. The Benders, as the family was named, would then kill the travelers and bury them under their house. Since record keeping wasn’t so great back then, no one ever noticed until years later the house was being demolished…which is when they found all the dead bodies. Now, knowing that little backstory GO LISTEN TO THE SONG!!

I literally could go on and on about how impressed I am with the music of Ninth Floor Mannequin. Jarrod Pedone has a collection of great song after great song and some potential indie hits on his new project. I highly encourage you to go to follow him on Spotify and save the new record Green And Blue For Blackness into your collection. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later! As always thank you for reading what I write and SUPPORT INDIE MUSIC!!

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