It’s funny how you find certain artists. I often spent house searching in the web for bands and artists to feature on the blog, searching through different sites, looking on Youtube and then you have the radio on while cooking the dinner and a song comes on that intrigues you, you wait to hear the artist and BOOM, someone new for the Eirecana blog. May i introduce Jem Mitchell.
Jem Mitchell hails from north County Dublin. Jem has a long history in the music industry. At the age of 19 he signed to A&M records in Los Angles with the band Fire Water Creed. He spent a number of years fronting a number of bands in the U.S. during the 1980’s and 1990’s. It seems he took a long break from music after this experience. Many of his biography’s mention a fourteen year hiatus from the scene before returning in 2015 with a new EP. While we cant be sure of his musical style early in his career, his sound now has clearly embraced americana and alt-country sound.
The EP in question is the five track “Sweet Amphetamine”. The EP is a collaboration with long time friend and guitarist Ken Browne. Jem’s writing style is deeply introspective. Well it feels deeply introspective. His lyrics explore the world of love and heartbreak. The melody’s in the EP suggest a sparse approach to let the words shine through. The opening track “Fragile Heart” is a true example of this.
“Not the loving Kind” is a more lively affair. Again simply arranged, the song again allows the lyrics to flow. The guitar licks perfectly compliment the words with a solo that beautifully captures the mood.
Both the title track “Sweet Amphetamine” and the acoustic “P’s Theme” continue the exploration of this style. It is reminiscent and captures the mood of some alt-country of the likes of Son Volt and especially for me, Richmond Fontaine. In some ways, it goes back to the days of one man and his guitar; Hank Williams, singing and being open about life and experiences and that is always to be welcomed. Subtle but engrossing, Jem’s music is one worth following.
He returns this year with a new single “Heavy Heart”. Featuring a full band sound, it really gives the opportunity for Jem’s style to shine. The song is a beautiful breezy americana pop record. It immediately captures you attention with the opening words, the short licks spread over the verse before bursting to life with the vivacious chorus.
You can catch up with all going on with Gem on his Facebook page. He is playing a number of gigs at the moment promoting the single so check there to see where to catch him next. You can download the single on iTunes and find all his music on Bandcamp.