British legend, Jem Doulton returns with a laid back, lofi alternative tune that drips with sarcasm mixed with electronic elements, making this the fifth track from the much anticipated full-length album that Jem created with the help of several top notch musicians and friends he has met throughout the years. Listen now to “Perfect Picture“.
Well, hello everybody and welcome back!! I’m really, really stocked to have once again on the blog such an awe inspiring artist. The legendary, the genius, Jem Doulton! If you are a loyal Less Than 1000 Followers reader, you should know who Jem is by now, but, in case you don’t, no problem. Long story short, he is the drummer and a very good friend of Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), and Irish singer, Róisín Murphy (Moloko).
After releasing the aforementioned My Brains In My Skin, Jem returns with the 5th track to his eventual album, which by the way is filled with amazing musicians like Thurston Moore and Dem Castellanos, amongst others! With a massive exhibition of talent, Jem’s album promises to be one of the best you’ve ever heard and will be releasing a new track month after month, creating a journey that slowly reveals itself!
“Each place offers a story told or emotional spaces occupied, one the listener can sit with and mull over until the next chapter.” – Jem
“Perfect Picture” is a song about camaraderie, sense of fun and political absurdity, all tightly wrapped up in a shoe-gaze cover, glazed with electronica elements, and carried away by a soft beat that invites contemplation and in-ward thinking. Mixed by Dem Castellanos, the song’s sonic qualities are a bit abrasive, solid and with a wide stereo image! Just my cup of tea!
“This is dedicated to all those who have/had a terrible and terrifying step parent. All power to you!” – Jem
The song counts with the skills of talented musicians, Luke Barlow on saxophone, Ben Doulton on lead guitar, Jamie McCredie on rhythm guitar and Kevin Toublant on Moog. Powerful yet easy to listen, “Perfect Picture” blends the gnarl of the synths and guitars with the soft chant of a low paced drum beat and a big fat bass. Quite something!
I once again had the pleasure to chat with Jem himself, and you can read our interview below. Only on Less Than 1000!:
MadZen: It’s a pleasure to greet you again Jem, congratulations on the release. Let’s get straight to it. Tell us, why “Perfect Picture”? What’s the story behind the title and the song?
Jem: “Firstly thanks for being interested and digging the tunes! It’s always nice to hear that people enjoy what’s there. “Perfect Picture” well it’s definitely laced with a lot of sarcasm this track. I have to be a bit careful what I say as it comes from quite a personal place, so it’s a bit tricky to divulge more. With that in mind though, the sentiment can extend to other situations, by and large where people impose themselves and believe in their own self importance yet without any empathy and to the detriment of those around them. It happens all the time to varying degrees, living in a fake world etc. I guess it made sense to make it the title track for the album as it’s quite a big concept… You need the right tune if it’ll also be the album name. It carries a little more weight at that point.”
MadZen: Of course man, I get it. People can be hard to deal with sometimes, even if it isn’t you who’s getting the harm or whatever… I see that Dem Castellanos mixed this track! I’m a fan of his music myself, so, I wanted to ask you, what is it that you like about Dem’s sound? It feel that it is a very characteristic one.
Jem: “I played the drums in his band The Oscillation in the preceding 4 years to Covid hitting (I was a fan before that too). We’re friends having toured all over Europe together in this time and we share various aspects both musically and personally. All the tunes have been mixed by him and we co-produced it. Lots of very good conversations about approach and ideas. That’s what I think you want when getting to that part of making a record – an ability to be open to other’s suggestion and vice versa, riffing on it and also embracing happy accidents. He’s done a great job! A lot of that is down to trust as well 🙂“
MadZen: Sounds like you make a great team, both musically and intimately! Ok, Jem, one last question. The decision to release the album track by track in the course of a year is something I haven’t seen before. Is this something you regularly do, or is this the first time? Are there any pros and cons to this? What do you think?
Jem: “I’ve never done it like this before no but I have always written music whether with an alter ego or in bands but this the first time I’m doing it as myself and I thought why not try it like this as way of an introduction. I figured that if you drop the whole thing in one go, people probably won’t sit down and listen to 40-50 mins of music and given there are a lot of people involved, by doing it like this I can also shine a light on everyone as it happens.
Album 2 will be released as an album in one go. This one definitely has more room for the one by one approach. I also quite like how it’s a long process, how in an ever speeding up world this will take a year to release. At the same time it’s a result of the speeding up to do song by song, as as I mentioned before, people’s listening habits have changed…“
MadZen: That is very, very true man. It does seem like the wisest move you could’ve make; in an every increasing speed, people have little to no time to sit and listen the whole way through albums (which I find sad, but there are exceptions!) Well, I think that’s about it Jem. Anything you’d like to add for our readers?
Jem: “Only to say thanks for reading and the support. And thank you to you also for being interested!“
Don’t forget to support Jem on Instagram, Facebook, Soundcloud YouTube, and Spotify. You can also check out his official website. If you enjoy their music and are able to provide monetary support, you might consider downloading it on Bandcamp.
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