MR NO - When I'm Down
featured image for MR NO - When I'm Down
posted 31 Dec 2018 by Krister Axel
If it didn’t hurt, we’d never learn anything.

The force of reinvention is strong from young songwriter and producer Jason Vance, who scrapped a bunch of songs from his past in order to access a new sensibility. With a clean jazz guitar, a deep and syncopated bass-line, and some buttery vocals, the sound here is a simple good time with a secret - introducing MR NO.

The elements are as varied as they are subtle, in a space that defies easy description. The references here range from Billie Eilish to the Strokes - with a warm production, effortless pop melody, and a hint of funk flavor from the live drum performance and bass compression.

It’s not easy to play that Pete Yorn card and play all of the instruments yourself; when done correctly, the synergy between parts transcends social chemistry, and creates a purity of expression that is rare and beautiful. The new single When I'm Down from MR NO sets the bar for new starts: it’s groovy, fun, and hides a little bit of pain. But if it didn’t hurt, we’d never learn anything.

“You said that you’d never leave
and you left
did he set you free?
You went away and I let you be”— MR NO

MR NO is a producer-artist based in Los Angeles. This song is featured on our CHILL NEW Songwriters playlist, new for 2019.

About the Author


Krister Bjornson Axel

Ogdensburg, New York

Paris, France. Madison, Wisconsin. Los Angeles. Ashland, Oregon. Ottawa. I write music, I write about music, and I write code. See also: photography, prose, podcasting. I have 1 gorgeous wife, 2 amazing kids, and many interests.

Recent Awards: 2020 ND (Photo) Honorable Mention, 2020 Accenti Writing Contest Finalist