When it comes to the art of vanishing off the face of the earth and leaving people to conclude that the only possible outcome for your disappearance, is that you’ve been consumed by the Bermuda Triangle, there are only three people that have ever really nailed it – Houdini, Bin Laden and South-London musician, Jamie T.
The latter of the three, a Wimbledon born, singer-songwriter who was once branded the ‘one man Arctic Monkey’, produced two of the finest albums in the history of British music. Albums that soundtracked every night of underage drinking, every one night stand, every punch up with the police, every moment of regret and every glorious calamity that makes Great Britain so great.
But sadly, just like the thrill of downing your first pint at the age of 14 in a garage full of Nuts magazines, empty beer cans and your best mates, Jamie T disappeared close to five years ago.
However, just when everyone had all but given up hope on the possibility of rekindling the very memories that were made to the sound of his songs, Jamie T defied the odds and did what no one thought he would do – return. And his brand new track, ‘Don’t You Find’, although a million miles away from anything he has done prior, adopts a style that today, couldn’t be more relevant.
Arguably the most melancholy thing he has done, ‘Don’t You Find’ sees Jamie T’s vocals pursue a less enthusiastic, Damon Albarn- esque approach, coinciding with, and inevitably adding to the romantically, sombre tone that runs throughout. The spontaneous, haunting reverse violins very briefly drag you back in time to a dark place in your life that for some unexplainable reason you now desire to re-experience – even though you know the outcome is far from colourful. It’s a heart wrenchingly sad song that somehow, simultaneously manages to exude so much sorrow and so much beauty.
Yes, opinions will be split and yes some (very few) fans might be lost if the remainder of his new album, like this new single, continues to channel a less lyrically cut throat approach, but then again, who bloody cares? Jamie T certainly doesn’t, he never has – and that’s what ultimately, made him so likeable and brilliant. He’s straight up. He never set out to please anyone. He set out to make music because he enjoys doing so – but arguably he became the voice of a generation in the process.
Whether you are a past dweller or not, as we get older, I believe we look to nostalgia for happiness more than we look to anything else -but the revival of Jamie T might just mean we no longer have to long for the chaotic, fun, scary, dangerous, unpredictable, exciting and exhilarating times we had when we was younger – because his return, musically different or not, will act as a gateway to reliving them.
Words: George Henry King