Jim Guthrie Now, More Than Ever

Jim Guthrie Now, More Than Ever
If you’ve seen this docile indoors indie rock virtuoso play in the last year or so, you’ve 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 Mouches’s Owen Pallett pull bows across a cello and violin respectively; Rockets Red Glare’s 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, there’s 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 Guthrie’s honesty-wrangling vocal squeaks and mellows; it’s obvious that Guthrie is coming into his own. Each track is spot on and full, and stand-outs like Morning Noon Night’s "1901” are difficult to pick, although "Time is a Force” comes pretty close, but only because they’re all so perfectly on the level. If you’re lucky you can peek through the crack in this party’s 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 you’d probably ruin the moment.

What happened to your Playstation?
It’s still here but it’s just something I was fascinated with at the time and I’ll still use it and play live with it. I think there are a lot of songs to be written and just like you can’t use the same thing every time, you can’t use the same instrument every time. It was just another way to write a song and I wrote some songs — I may write more. It’s not dead, it’s 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 would’ve thought I would’ve made a record like this. I love to surprise myself, and that’s 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.

What’s the best part of playing with a band again?
What would seem like a normal thing for me to do isn’t what they might do. And learning from one another how the song could be different is exciting because some of the stuff I’ve done before is sort of inbred in my own mind. With a band there are lots of things that happen when you’re not really expecting it. (Three Gut)