Returning from their two-year hiatus following the release of their second full-length album Hypnagogic, Jamie and the Jets present to us their third musical brainchild — Raisin Deckchair.
The eleven-track album, quite cleverly accompanied with the album art of a deckchair adorned with a raisin-printed cover, feature a thirty-nine-minute runtime. The album is representative of the inspirational roots of Jamie and the Jets, with stark similarities to elements of country folk, pop and indie-folk. The album promises a refreshing breeze of country-style acoustic Americana, enjoyed over the melodious harmonies of the members and occasional entries of multi-varied instrumentation.
The album’s lead-off opens up with A Day at the Zoo, a medium tempo acoustic number with a narrative storyline denoting an outing, replete with synth and tambourine inclusion to assist the surrounding background harmonies. The song celebrates the exuberance of youthfulness and of gaudy adventure.
The acoustic expertise is carried onto the following track Grey Shitty Day, which is thematically contrasted to its preceding number. It represents a song to be sung on morbid, cloudy mornings where nothing seems to be going right. The song has a unique ability to involve people into the tune, and soon everyone will be a-head knocking and foot-tapping, doing away with the gloom that seemed to surround them. The entry of the mandolin into the song towards the harmonious outro offers the additional Americana country atmosphere to it.
Regicide invites introspection of the love in one’s life into a celebration of the love that surrounds the singers. The simple, yet effective guitar strumming accompanied by the harmonic entries at the half-mark of the song offers it the power to get under the skin of the listener. Isabella is, for all intents and purposes, a romantic tune decorated with the charming mellow guitar and the orchestral arrangement of background vocals. It easily becomes the song that people can remember the album by and has the potential to feature on the various romantic acoustic playlists that make rounds of the internet.
Drawing the lead-off of the album to a close is Loneliness is Universal, a multi-tempo song about the mundane routineness of life that is marked by feelings of solitude and desolation. Pull Your Socks Up perhaps becomes the break to the album, taking a distance from the genre that has defined the lead-off thus far. Boy and Maybe You’re The One make returns to the romantic theme in the album, with the former constituting the musical styles of country legends such as Brad Paisley or Blake Shelton in their characterization of the people the song is about. The latter is a much more mellow, moody number with acoustic arpeggio arrangements.
Ho Chi Minh is a thoroughly enjoyable funky number that can be enjoyed over an evening beverage with friends. The track is easily remembered with its balladic lyricism, sloppy braggadocio and quirky bass loops, straight out of a movie about American counties in the 40s. Supermoon and Observer — the closing tracks — do well, to sum up, the featural mood in the album. Both measured and temperamental numbers, reflect the soul of Jamie And The Jets, drawing the curtains on the four-act show.
I had the pleasure of reaching out to Jamie And The Jets, to get their thoughts on their album. Here is how that went:
1. What would you say is the temperament behind Jamie And The Jets?
The nature of the jets is a very relaxed one. In my younger years I was in a rock band with 3 other chaps, we really had a laugh doing it but we were four very male males. The Jets are far more relaxed and considered and Jets rehearsal ofteninvolve a long catch up and/or a meal together, lots of cups of tea. Time is precious for us all I feel we all understand the mental health benefits of providing a positive space to be creative, and the joy of singing together. There is a lovely supportive environment trying to layer the harmonies and then remember the parts. The Jets were formed initially to play as a live band for an album release but as it felt positive for all of us we carried on and now it’s been over 4 years.
2. How do you think you progressed musically from Am Big You Us to Hypnagogic to Raisin Deckchair?
The Jets have progressed hugely as a group because I wrote AM BIG YOU US by myself and added The Jets on afterwards but as we played and rehearsed more I started to consider the Jets in the writing and how we could utilize the band. So Raisin Deckchair is definitely a Jets album. It’s in the shape of the band, how they perform these songs.
3. Who were the musical inspirations behind Raisin Deckchairs, if any?
The inspiration for me as the writer comes from everywhere all the music I have listened to and heard. My musical heart is a pie chart with folk, indie rock, singer songwriters, soul. But with a song like Ho Chi Minh that’s scat, which I am not aware that I’m a fan of but I guess as the some comes together you borrow from a certain style.
4. How would you describe the mood of the album to a new listener?
5. What’s next for Jamie And The Jets?
We are all waiting for our confinement to be over. We have only just started to rehearse and one or two gigs are starting to pop up but we are still not clear of the virus and it’s hard to plan too much. For the Jets I would like to focus on the next project being conducted more closely, so the song arrangements are made as a band before they are committed to being recorded. I am also in love with the idea of maybe simpler songs with more harmonies throughout but my writing hasn’t taken me naturally in that direction yet. We can’t wait to spend more creative time together and really we’ll probably end up some where which none of us planned. That’s normally how it works.