EP Review: Magnolia Melancholia / Jamie T

Taking us back to his earlier sounds, Jamie T has released his latest EP Magnolia Melancholia only six months after his third album Carry On The Grudge. Unlike the album, Treays takes a more natural approach to this EP with the occasional distortion and hissing creating a ‘rough cut’ and unedited feeling. However, this isn’t the result of going into the studio with a slapdash attitude, everything has been done with the intention creating a great record – something which has definitely been achieved.

T reintroduces his sound by opening with Don’t You Find, the track which saw his return in 2014. The chilled reggae beats combined with the deadpan vocals make you feel somewhat spaced out and disconnected from everything around you. It’s certainly a relaxed track which sets the mood perfectly the coming songs. This demo like feeling continues with Marilyn Monroe which takes the record in a more upbeat direction. There’s still distortion on the vocals, which are now more passionate, but a greater sense of the acoustic rock we’ve heard in the past now echoes through the brighter guitar riffs and emphatic drum rhythms. A cover of Bran Van 3000’s Mama Don’t Smoke leads into the title track Magnolia Melancholia which draws similarities to The Libertines whilst taking a less full on approach focusing on Treays vocals and chiming guitar melody. As cliched as it sounds, the track’s almost a ballad for the broken-hearted with T reflecting upon how he ‘fell in love with her seven thousand summers ago’ and is now ‘sittin’ on the other side of London penance for shit’ making it a perfect post break up song (if you’re into all that). Riverbed is again similar to the rest of the record with more angst and pain being emphasised through the yearning vocals and dejected strummed guitar chords.

Almost everyone knows The Replacements’ Bastards of The Young so, by making the choice to conclude the EP with a cover of this, it could go two ways for Jamie. He strips back the previously lively and energetic indie classic to just himself, the guitar and occasional echo to create an engaging an intimate atmosphere which sees him reinvent the track into a new masterpiece. In general the EP turns back time to T’s early recording years which has helped us fall in love with him again.

Rating: 8/10

Words by William Castile

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