17 June 2012

Jamie Woon - Mirrorwriting [2011]

1.Night Air
3.Lady Luck

Incredible album, crunchy drums infused with raunchy synts/samples akin to noah 40. Don't sleep on this and support the artist who provide good material.

Stood next to Blake and The xx, Mirrorwriting sounds like Katy Perrycovering Walking on Sunshine: which is to say that he’s both much more accessible and a lot less gloomy than his contemporaries, even if his music is equally enigmatic and enchanting. There is still plenty of electronic smoke-and-mirrors activity on tracks like Gravity, but despite ultra-modern tricks he’s less sonic explorer than classic songwriter. Even the more experimental tracks like Shoulda follow a melodic verse-chorus-verse format, and although the shadows lengthen from the offset with lead single Night Air, Woon’s lyrics are largely simple stories of romantic woe instead of evocations of nebulous melancholy, delivered in richly quavering tones reminiscent of Ben Westbeech.

It’s a comparison that also suggests Woon’s timing might not be so far off, after all. Now that Westbeech is departing the jazz and blues of Welcome to the Best Years of Your Life for more upbeat house territory, there’s clearly a vacant space for another underground UK soulboy. Woon might be thinking about such vicissitudes of fortune when he sings "It ain’t something that you can synthesise" on Lady Luck, but when it comes to creating a new compound from the timeless spirit of the blues, he’s done exactly that.