Friday, June 12, 2020

Intro JB

Jim Basnight
Introducing Jim Basnight
Precedent Records

Some of these songs are punky. Some are anything but, such as blues, jazz, and guitar pop.

These songs didn’t fit on his other albums, but their depth and breadth make them more than odds and sods. It makes for a great album with songs that deserve to be heard. Check out his other albums, too. They all are wonderful.

Andrea Weiss

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

James Styring interview

I first heard the band on Big Stir's The Fifth Wave singles comp, and was instantly a fan. I was glad when the band leader, James Styring, contacted me out of the blue. It was the perfect way to further experience this album. He agreed to an interview.

Andrea Weiss: Could you give a short history of the band?

James Styring: I had played with Mikey, our bass player, in a previous band. We decided to get together again and write a bunch of new songs. The writing went well, so we demoed the best at Mikey's home studio. We thought the next logical step would be to put a full band line-up together. Martyn, our guitarist, is the owner of the studio where we record. He was initially going to help out on a couple of songs, but things gelled so well, he came onboard full time. Same thing with Danny, our drummer. He came in to record with us, but joined the band soon after.

AW: Guitar pop seems timeless, and very much in tune with today. Why do you think that is?

JS: I think a good melody can stand the test of time. It's not dictated to by fashion or trends. It can break down barriers and communicate with everyone. I don't think that's likely to change anytime soon.

AW: I like how your lyrics are so happy and positive, even when the situations written about are bittersweet. Do you like having that balance?

JS: I try to. I think life is a balance between happy and bittersweet. Light and shade. I just try to capture and reflect a little of that in my words. Some of our songs may appear dreamy or psychedelic, but they all have their roots in reality. There's truth and life experience in all our songs, sometimes you just have to dig a little.

AW: “American Sushi” seems like a critique of the US, and a good one? Is it?

JS: I had the title for a while. I probably heard it on TV or read it somewhere. The verses have a Wild West feel to them, kind of like an old cowboy movie. And you're right, I guess the chorus is a celebration of all things American. If it is a critique, it's certainly a positive one. America was a mystical place, growing up as a kid in the UK. All the best moves, TV shows, comic books, etc. came from over there.

AW: Who are your influences?

JS: As a band, we listen to a lot of different things, but we share a love of melody, so it just seems to work when we get together to write. We don't set out to sound like anyone else, or to follow a label, we just do what we do and it sounds as it sounds. Having said that, I'm sure you can hear some of our influences in the songs.

AW: Who would be some other bands to check out in the scene?

JS: There's so much great music out there at the moment, you just have to go looking for it. Our label, Kool Kat Musik, would be a good place to start. Big Stir are working with some fantastic bands, as are Spyderpop and Futurman Records, all great places to find new music (and there are many more).

AW: How did getting on one of the Big Stir singles compilations happen?

JS: We had just begun writing for "Woke Up In Hollywood" and we thought it would be a great way to let people know there was a full-length album on the way. We knew it would be a great thing to be involved with - Big Stir put out some fantastic music - so we approached Rex and Christina with the idea.

AW: How did you get Rex Broome from the Armoires and Big Stir to play on the album?

JS: We'd always wanted to work with Rex, we're fans of The Armoires, and figured now would be a great time. It was just a case of asking, really. I'd met Rex briefly at Liverpool International Pop Overthrow a few years previous, and we'd kept in touch. He heard the rough demo and said yes. We also have Power Pop legend Lannie Flowers playing on a track. We have some very talented friends!

Andrea Weiss


It’s Karma, It’s Cool
Woke Up In Hollywood
Kool Kat Records

This UK band has made a very good, very charming album, with subtle, nuanced guitar playing, smart, happy, fun lyrics, and a singer who always sounds cheerful.

“Wooden Buddha,” the single from the album, is nicely, gently psychedelic. “American Sushi” celebrates the best of American culture from afar. This album is worth picking if you are a fan of guitar pop and modern pop/rock, or for anyone who just wants a good album.
Andrea Weiss


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