Johnnie Mikel

Johnnie Mikel Drops Delicious Debut Album ‘Purgatory’

Alt-pop singer-songwriter Johnnie Mikel unveils his debut long-player, Purgatory, addressing a variety of essential topics, including mental health in the music industry, the effects of social media on young people, human rights, and disenchantment in love and politics.

Produced by James Michael, Purgatory features “I Hope It Hurts,” which appeared on Mediabases’ Top 40 and thrust its way into Billboard’s Top 50, along with “Fallen Angel,” written with Lauren Christy, presently in Mediabases’ Top 15, and “Obsessed With U.”

Johnnie Mikel arrived on the scene in 2017, releasing his debut single, “Come With Me.” Since then, he’s dropped hits like “Revolution” and “Nothing To Lose,” as well as his EP, Night of Your Life.

Originally from Kentucky, Mikel developed talents as a singer, songwriter, and performer working alongside industry heavyweights like Tommy Lee, Lindy Robbins, and Nash Overstreet and traveling between New York, L.A., and Nashville, where he has shared the stage with Charlie Daniels, Little River Band, and Josh Turner.

Encompassing 11 tracks, Purgatory begins with “Playing Rockstar,” opening on low-slung, thrumming guitars, followed by ramping up to potent layers of pop and alt-rock dynamics.

Highlights on the album include “Revolution,” with its dark, rumbling intro topped by Johnnie’s swaggering, evocative vocals. The muscular rhythm infuses the song with portentous savors as heavy guitars give the harmonics punching heft.

“I Hope It Hurts” rolls out on a muted, sparkling piano as Johnnie’s passionate voice imbues the lyrics with urgent flavors. The chorus elevates to luscious pop-rock washes, allowing Johnnie to strut his rich, expressive voice.

“’Cause if you only knew what was deep inside / You’d see that you’re still on my mind / And you’d know just how it felt / You’d know it hurts like hell.”

A personal favorite because of its wicked, bluesy harmonics riding a thumping rhythm, “Fallen Angel” drips with sleazy, contagious energy, complemented by Johnnie’s seductively roguish timbres.

Talking about “Fallen Angel,” Johnnie says, “I came to Lauren with the title and concept, and we wrote the song fairly quickly. It’s kind of a ‘good girl gone bad’ story about someone that’s not the best for you. We wanted to make the song very funky and sexy, so the production matches that. I love the swampy, bluesy feel of the guitars and vocals. The execution of the song was all about having a cool vibe!”

Drenched in edgy pop leitmotifs, “Obsessed With U” hums with sensuous momentum and opulent vocal harmonies, giving the tune playful surfaces.

At once throbbing with tender sensitivity and gliding orchestral textures, “One” evokes profoundly moving emotions. “One” inspired Johnnie to create the One Word Foundation, based on the idea that one word, choice, or chance can change a person’s life.

Full of pop flair and hints of tantalizing rock elements, Purgatory delivers irresistible alt-pop zest, along with the deluxe vocals of Johnnie Mikel.

Follow Johnnie Mikel Instagram | Facebook | TikTok | Spotify

Written by Randy

Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.