Mid-noughties indie icon, Jamie T, has very quietly dropped a brand-new compilation of B-sides from throughout his career. With just an Instagram post to promote it, B Sides (06-17) appeared on Spotify earlier today. The compilation features B-sides from limited edition vinyl releases as well as free website downloads from back in the day.
In his Instagram post, Jamie said ‘I hope this collection of tracks will satisfy those who want a more comprehensive set of songs available digitally. Some more finished than others, they are what they are and I’m proud to put them out together as a strange mutant piece of work for you now.’ He also teased new music saying, ‘P.s new music is on its way …….. when it’s READY’. Is a possible follow up to 2016’s Trick in the works?
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When I was making Panic Prevention my good old mate joe (aka the muse) went off to university in Bristol. Excited and slightly homesick he called me up to tell me about this computer program that allowed him and other students to share all their music with each other!! After a moment of silence the reality hit him, it meant at least 15 of my demos had accidentally been dropped in one day. And that was how we celebrated the fact that joe had gone to university!!! That is where this group of songs starts with Fox News and Oh My Girl. I have written a lot of music over the years. Most of it unreleased living on three dusty computers in a very secure location (under my bed). Those songs will have their day at some point, in the meantime I hope this collection of tracks will satisfy those who want a more comprehensive set of songs available digitally. From those written in my childhood bedroom, to Thomas Dunn written in Corktown Detroit, it spans many years of bsides from limited edition vinyl to tracks released for free on the net. Some more finished than others, they are what they are and I’m proud to put them out together as a strange mutant piece of work for you now. Hope you enjoy it . Much love and respect – Jamie t (Link in bio) P.s new music is on its way …….. when it’s READY 🙌🙌🙌👌✌🏻🧟♂️xxxx
The compilation spans the time between the release of one of Jay’s early singles, Salvador (whose B-side, Livin’ With Betty, is the second track on the collection) all the way up to the release of his fourth album, Trick. The record starts off with Fox News (taken from the CD single version of Calm Down Dearest), a somewhat muted track featuring the trademark Jamie T rap flow, throwing the listener right back to 2007 while the subtle drum beats and synths take turns to grab their attention.
The aforementioned Livin’ With Betty is a song stripped to its very bones, featuring just Jay his off-kilter, almost shrieking vocals and his guitar while Meet Me On The Corner (taken from a 2 x 7” vinyl release of Sheila) is a bleak, plodding portrayal of the urban landscape, soundtracked by Jamie’s signature south London drawl.
Oh My Girl is one of the real gems of the collection. Released as a free blog download in 2006 and subsequently buried beneath subsequent official releases, the Caribbean beat and bouncy synths make the hook even catchier, leaping out from the rest of the tracklist on first listen.
Feel Me (from the vinyl 7” version of Calm Down Dearest) is a somewhat average track, with a somewhat catchy vocal hook, while Fire Fire (a 2009 video that was released online but never as audio) is a furious, punky shredder, Jamie spitting the verses out like poison, complete with a howling chorus drenched in fuzz and distortion.
40/40 ICU (B-side from the Zombie single) is a sinister rap-rock groove while both Sycophant (the Rabbit Hole B-side) and The Likeness Of Being (the Power Over Men B-side) are more emotional, traditional indie cuts, both with brilliant melodies and writing, the latter in particular with excellent verse delivery. These three tracks join Oh My Girl on the standout list while Thomas Dunn (the Tescoland B-side makes for an affectionate and optimistic send-off.
It’s after Fire Fire that a change can be quite obviously noticed. The production gets crisper. The songwriting seems more mature. The final four songs on the album were all released at least five years after Kings And Queens. It’s because of this that there is such an audible evolution across the compilation. The record tells a story, albeit a somewhat disjointed one. One comes away having heard Jamie T grow from being the young, misunderstood indie rapper on Panic Prevention to the older, more content, more comfortable artist heard on Trick. That’s what Jamie T has done his whole career, from Panic Prevention through to Trick: tell stories, and with promises of new music, he, most certainly, is not done yet.
Find Jamie T on:
Twitter – https://twitter.com/jamietmusic?lang=en
Words by Oliver Hope.