Published Jan 01, 2006If youve seen this docile indoors indie rock virtuoso play in the last year or so, youve probably already heard most of Now, More Than Ever. But for an ever-fruitful gem like Jimmy, this is far more a matter of catching up with himself than treading water. This year, Jim traded in his Playstation for a bunch of buddies and turned his timidly expansive pop songs into an even warmer party-turned-jam with his favourite friends. The Constantines Bry Webb takes on banjo duties, the Hidden Cameras Mike Olsen and Picastro/Les Mouchess Owen Pallett pull bows across a cello and violin respectively; Rockets Red Glares Evan Clarke hits drums and co-Royal City boy Simon Osborne plays bass. Although the fact that this is the same old cherub-boy whose namesake label was named after a childhood taunt and whose records have always struck a chord for innocence, theres no denying that this is a very different album another mode of expressing the same ideas and feelings. Cyclical and chronological references abound, played out with swelling strings and Guthries honesty-wrangling vocal squeaks and mellows; its obvious that Guthrie is coming into his own. Each track is spot on and full, and stand-outs like Morning Noon Nights "1901 are difficult to pick, although "Time is a Force comes pretty close, but only because theyre all so perfectly on the level. If youre lucky you can peek through the crack in this partys door, but try not to let your heart puff up too big cause you may feel compelled to scream out "this is so perfect! and then youd probably ruin the moment.
What happened to your Playstation?
Its still here but its just something I was fascinated with at the time and Ill still use it and play live with it. I think there are a lot of songs to be written and just like you cant use the same thing every time, you cant use the same instrument every time. It was just another way to write a song and I wrote some songs I may write more. Its not dead, its just lying down.
How did the collaborative process play out?
I would hum one line to Owen and he would make it eight, he would write all of the melodies and harmonies. I would give him a red or a blue and he would make a rainbow out of it. I would have suggestions about what it should sound like, but it was more of a group effort. A year ago, I never wouldve thought I wouldve made a record like this. I love to surprise myself, and thats why I just let them go to town, I tried to let everybody do what they do although I had really strong ideas about how I wanted it to turn out.
Whats the best part of playing with a band again?
What would seem like a normal thing for me to do isnt what they might do. And learning from one another how the song could be different is exciting because some of the stuff Ive done before is sort of inbred in my own mind. With a band there are lots of things that happen when youre not really expecting it. (Three Gut)