Artist DescriptionSpeaking from his home in the Midwest on a beautiful spring day, singer-songwriter Jon McLaughlin would strike you as a pretty relaxed guy. As he recounts his numerous accomplishments without any bravado, it would be understandable for McLaughlin to feel like he could coast a little as he prepares to release his third album, Promising Promises (Razor & Tie). Case in point: An aptitude for piano discovered as a child, submersion in all school related music programs, college to continue his study of music, cultivating a big online following in the early days of social media, scoring a label deal at age 21, inking big song placements on television and movies, a performance at the Academy Awards, selling 170k albums, debuting at #1 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart - pretty heady stuff for a guy from Indiana who just wanted to be able to play like Billy Joel someday.
Jon released his 2007 debut album, Indiana on Island, followed by his sophomore effort, OK Now in 2008. Both were successful, with Jon sharing the stage with the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Adele, Colbie Caillat, Sara Bareilles, Duffy, One Republic, Johnny Lang, Paolo Nutini, and Matt Wertz among many others. The albums yielded placements on Scrubs and movies like Georgia Rule and Bridge to Terabithia. In the meantime, Jon’s manager got a call about an Alan Menken/Stephen Schwartz song for an upcoming Disney film called Enchanted starring Patrick Dempsey and Amy Adams. Immediately interested, Jon flew toLong Island to record the track. A week later, the film’s producers asked Jon, by then newly married, if he’d like to perform the song in the film. He and his wife flew back to New York, where he spent a week filming the pivotal ballroom scene in Brooklyn. A year and a half later, the film was released to outstanding reviews and Jon was later asked to perform “So Close” at the Academy Awards in 2008.
As Jon began work on his third album, he realized things were changing at his label. “There were a lot of people there I loved, but it started to not feel like my home anymore. I’d been encouraged to co-write on my first two albums, with half the songs being written with other people. I also had to use musicians the producers had wanted, not my band mates, who I’ve literally known, and been playing with, since high school and college.” The recording of this album was different: “I took a long time to write Promising Promises. I knew how I wanted to record these songs, so I got more involved with producing and engineering.” McLaughlin not only wrote all the songs on the album but he also produced it. He understood this was not the album his major label wanted him to make. While Jon accepted their decision, he was not going to change the musical course that finally felt so right to him.
The result is his most authentic album yet. Promising Promises reflects Jon’s confidence and maturity as a songwriter. Releasing the record on independent label Razor & Tie is also an inspired choice for Jon, who says, “It's so refreshing to find a group of people who have so much experience in the music business and are still so passionate about music."
The thirteen piano driven pop tracks include first single “Summer is Over” featuring old friend Sara Bareilles, and other stand-out tracks include title track “Promising Promises,” “MaybeIt’s Over” featuring Xenia Martinez, a Season One finalist from The Voice, and “If Only I,” a song about unrequited love that is delivered both poignantly and passionately.
Promising Promises, in stores now, is the record Jon’s always wanted to make.