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Pre-Code Hollywood
Jonathan Bree
Lil' Chief Records
Catalogue Number
Release Date
May 12, 2023

The celestial opening notes of Pre-Code Hollywood transport listeners to a complex sonic world that celebrates classic pop of a bygone era, while experimenting with the avant-garde in a way that is distinctly modern. The album, the fifth from New Zealand-based artist Jonathan Bree, exudes a nostalgic charm reminiscent of a John Hughes movie soundtrack. A producer and musician best known for his cinematic brand of orchestral pop, Bree’s deep baritone and musical arrangements—which often feature sliding strings and chamber instruments such as the celeste, harp, and timpani—draw inspiration from classic artists like Lee Hazlewood and Serge Gainsbourg, but are reborn as something entirely his own. A “dark disco album full of sad bangers,” Pre-Code Hollywood synthesizes Bree’s years of experience and craftsmanship into a refined, focused, and bold collection. It’s his most pop-forward and exciting work to date.

While working on the album’s demos, Bree noticed a certain 1980’s aesthetic about them and sent a brave email to “The Hitmaker” Nile Rodgers - Chic mainman and producer of David Bowie’s Let’s Dance album. The two ended up collaborating on the album’s title track, as well as the standout single 'Miss You' (with Rodgers producing and performing guitar on both tracks). Rodgers’ touch elevates the recordings to ambitious, scorching dance floor heaters. 'Miss You,' an aching yet groovy duet with longtime collaborator Princess Chelsea, also serves as the thematic core of the album: a tale of longing, separation, and the road back to connection.

Track List

  1. City Baby
  2. Pre-Code Hollywood
  3. When We Met
  4. Miss You
  5. We’ll All Be Forgotten
  6. Epicurean
  7. Politics
  8. You Are The Man
  9. Destiny
  10. Steel And Glass
  • Pre-Code Hollywood

Jonathan Bree

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