I’m not counting… but it’s been 602 days since (4:30) Idler and 1,295 days since Couch Baby. On the verge of giving up hope, today, Jamie Isaac (born Tom Cully) has finally re-emerged with ‘Next to Me’, a collaboration with the American glitch-hop producer Nosaj Thing. As a teaser for the upcoming EP 3, it’s proof that the South London native has something tasty in the works.
With a choral background, as well as a mastery of the piano, the self-proclaimed ‘producer who sings’ is known for his darkly romantic, shoegaze-y sound. Drawing influence from late 50s, west coast jazz such as Chet Baker or Dave Brubeck, Jamie infuses his music with a dreamy serenity. Slow cooked with angelic vocals, he has the ability to make you naturally unwind. Signed by Marathon Artists, he has released two fabulous studio albums. The most recent of which, (4:30) Idler, is a staple in my collection and I find myself returning to it time and time again. In an interview with Music Crowns he discusses the growth and maturation between his first two albums, so where is his music now?
No stranger to a collab, Jamie has worked with the likes of King Krule, Rejjie Snow and Denzel Curry. Californian Nosaj Thing (born Jason Chung) is best known for his left field, dynamic approach to electronica, experimenting with and exploring different technologies. Jamie and Nosaj, then, come together quite naturally – constantly evolving, yet still married to their ‘upbringing’ in bedroom production. Both place importance on simplicity, and this can certainly be heard on ‘Next to Me’ through the layered minimalist beats. It must be acknowledged that this new track is a lot more dancey than Jamie’s older material, but it still manages to retain his signature nocturnal energy. Lyrically, I enjoyed the thematic nod to the insomnia of (4:30) Idler with the first line: “I know I should’ve never gone to sleep”. Focusing on the topic of a break-up, the repetition throughout the song contributes to a mesmerising dreamy-RnB style, it’s a bop but still undeniably calming.
As an artist who is hell-bent on refining his sound, you never know what you’re gonna get from Jamie Isaac. With a busier production, ‘Next to Me’ is a song that will get you moving. Demonstrating a shift from the previous two albums, this new release sets 3 up to be something exciting and new – not just for fans, but for the artist himself.
The verdict (this is not necessarily a food, but a food experience): When you have a favourite restaurant, with a favourite dish. Then, they change hands and have a new chef – BUT, the chef remakes your favourite dish. It’s different, but still really good. Not 100% what you’re used to, but you’re not mad because it’s still YUM.
Jamie Isaac’s newest EP, ‘3‘, will be out 31st January 2020!
Listen for yourself: