Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Jamie T

Naturally Conor Oberst [of Bright Eyes fame] is the name that one thinks of when asked for "music's current counter-culture zeitgeist poet." But now there may be a new talent on the rise. And that would be Jamie T. A mon avis, to be the spirit of our times, one has to live within it, accept it all, and yet still be able to objectively criticise it, stand back and form opinions, make judgements. And Jamie T does this... he accepts that he is part of society, and yet tries to correct it from within. Kinda like what Hitler was doing [only the other way about: destroying democracy from within, and all that]. Why always criticism of what we have? Well, because basically modern-day society is always discontented, always looking for something more, slagging off what they've got. As Christopher Hart said, in his fantastic novel, Rescue Me, "The trouble with my lot is: we want the fucking world."

Musically, some sort of cross-breed of all the modern-day acts [see: Arctic Monkeys, Libertines, The Streets], and harkin' back to old folky grass-roots [see: a more polemic street-wise Bob Dylan with a harsher voice, or some have said Billy Bragg]. The accent is straight outta Arctic Monkeys territory [unsurprisingly], the lyrics are similar in bitterness and acute contemporary societal observations to The Streets [often surpassing the lyrical brilliance of Mike Skinner], and musically sort of like an early-days Libertines, although I wouldn't really know about that, since I haven't really listened to them enough, [other people's opinions are to be cherished, hehe...] But despite all these reference points, he still creates a sound which is all his own and will perhaps provide an anti-dote to all the other - hype hype hype!!! - hyped bands of late [see: fill in the blank]. If you really want to know what his genre is, well, to be honest, it just ain't happening. He's floating between genre's to these ears, but his Myspace site describes him as rap, punk, reggae, but I'd also throw in a bit of indie and some have described him as grime [a terrible name for a genre if ever I've heard one], and I guess it's kinda accurate, since I see a slight similarity in his music to Kano.

Check him out... I think he's amazing. And he definitely should be big this year - currently on tour with The Kooks, another up and coming band. Interesting fact? If you check out his MySpace alot of the comments mention seeing him live, on this current tour, and not being able to get his songs out of their heads, even after seeing The Kooks perform. And he's only the support act! Rising like a shining star, in a vacuous night-sky, that people aren't sure whether to trust. I say trust.

Jamie T

If You've Got The Money
*Note: MP3 courtesy of Take Your Medicine.

Go here to listen to "Salvador", and check out his site to listen to more songs [old demos] which I haven't really listened to properly, and the three videos he has up. Especially, "So Lonely Was The Ballad", since the lyrics to that song are amazing, and it features an interesting pre-recorded voice talking about anxiety and panic attacks and relief. The sort of self-help tape that Radiohead would be proud to take the piss out of. [Think OK Computer, i.e. Fitter, Happier, More Productive. Got it? Yep] Anyways, the song is pure made for the disco, with words like this:

so remember when you choke / there's a reason being / we leavin' the town / 'cause we ain't been believing / blowing out smoke / from our lungs to the ceiling / making sure nightmares / turn when you're dreaming

Also, go to his MySpace and listen to Sheila. It is incredible. The best new lyrics I've heard in a while. Trademark London references, gang references, chav references, clever word-play... everything. A collection of short-stories about Londoners... Enjoy.

His songs have something within them to attract everyone to his music*. Brilliantly melodic, rhythmically perfect [some songs featuring just his voice, and his acoustic bass guitar, work even better than his fully instrumented songs], and lyrics to attract the intellectuals who want some socio-political commentary. And when he's not singing lyrics to make you listen in awe, he's singing skat-like, ad-libbing a mixture of vowels and consonants and carryin' on the melody in the most rhythmic way possible.

*Note: last paragraph edited in after reading the Drowned in Sound review of Betty and the Selfish Sons EP, which can be found here. So yes, there are similarities *smile*.


20jazzfunkgreats said...

hi there, i'm really glad you like this and your writing is good too, but as it says on our blog :

Please do not link directly to the mp3s, if you like what we do be polite enough to link to the post itself (or Davros will get you).


20jazzfunkgreats said...

thank u!

i think not linking direct to some other blogs mp3 stash is part of the unwritten rules of mp3 blogin' btw.