With an atmospheric, dark mood and raw emotional vocals, James Alynes comes with an impactful new track “JIM BEAM“. Alynes makes sure to hit us with everything he’s got, spittin’ harsh truths in each bar about the true fragility of soul and our dependance of everything that makes us trick ourselves into thinking we are happy. But are we truly happy?
James Alynes is a Canadian songwriter focused on making the music he is interested in hearing. Thus, his sound varies from track to track, jumping seemlessly between one genre to another. And yet, he gives each one of them a special treatment through his experimentation with harmonies, beats and vocal delivery that turns them and makes them feel as something completely new. “JIM BEAM” was made under the self-imposed (and successfully completed) challenge of making one song a day. It is part of his upcoming album Que Ma Joie Demeure! which features a few hundred tracks.
While being seemingly minimalistic, “JIM BEAM” is a complex track. It constructs an atmospheric emotion of helplessness that is transmitted unto us with its harmonies, which transform with each passing moment of the track, uncovering their intensity. James Alynes masterfully delivers with his intense vocals. He also manages to introduce wordplay that gives the complexity of the music to the lyrics, and gives them a hint of metaphoric weight. Raw and powerful, he accents each word with a rhythm that not only serves to drive the beat forward, but to establish an emotional punch depending on the mood he tries to convey.
To celebrate this track, we also have an exclusive interview with James Alynes!
Is there somewhere, something or someone in particular you believe your music comes from?
James Alynes :
It’s funny. You’ll see that in this album, there’s an awful lot of names being dropped, mostly female ones. Sometimes in the title of a track (Lysistrata, Alice, Françoise, Daria, Maria, Edna May, Joan Redfern and many more), sometimes just in a song. These aren’t exactly the names of women I’ve known in real life. Most of them represent a concept, an ideal, a perversion, a desire that I resonated with at some point.
For example, the title of my next release, Lysistrata, comes from Aristophanes’ eponymous Ancient Greek comedy play, where women decided to deny spousal privileges to their husbands, in order for them to stop perpetrating the Peloponnesian war. Even though it was originally a comedy, I think there’s this idea of “sex to end war” or, paradoxically, sex leading to war in some way.
Kind of a long answer but I wanted to illustrate that my music comes from a lot of different places and times, and those places and times happened to be embodied in a single person, who shall remane nameless, a few years ago.
“JIM BEAM” and other tracks of the album were made during your one-song-a-day challenge. How was your day to day and what were the biggest struggles during that time?
James Alynes :
Back in 2020 I wasn’t really doing good for myself, in any department. That’s partly what made me decide to start this project: at least I was doing something, even though I didn’t really know what I was getting into.
My biggest struggle was basically to get it done. Every day, and the whole project in general. I wanted to quit several times. Now my biggest struggle is to get people to listen to it.
Can you tell us about your creative process when writing your lyrics? How do you experiment with wordplay, rhymes and rhythm?
Well, I like writing. I’m having fun with it, and I don’t think I suck at it… It’s kind of cliché, but I think it has to come from a real place. Not that you can’t have fun, or twist words…you have to, but it can’t be forced. Otherwise, you’re taking the risk of degrading your art.
I also think there’s a music in words alone. Some combination of syllables, words, sentences can suggest a rhythm by themselves. You have to open yourself to that, have that sensitivity and get on board. Like these words are asking you to work with them.
Sometimes I already have an instrumental music, and I write on it.
Sometimes I write with a melody in my mind. That’s kind of tricky because I have to hold off these lyrics until I find or make an instrumental piece that’ll fit. This can take months or years before this kind of process comes to life.
When creating the soundscape of “JIM BEAM”, was there a particular emotion you wanted to transmit?
James Alynes :
This answer might be disappointingly short but : no. It was pretty natural actually. I was hurting, so it showed in the sound of JIM BEAM, and most of Que Ma Joie Demeure!’s songs. The cracking voice, the screams, the mood switches…
“JIM BEAM” tackles difficult subject matter about fragility and the hardships of life with such an honesty. What inspired you to talk about them?
James Alynes :
Like I said, I wasn’t doing very good at the time. I kind of hit rock bottom that year, and it was one of those days worse than the others, in an already shitty year. I don’t even think it’s the saddest or harshest song of Que Ma Joie Demeure!
It might be in my top 20 though hahaha.
Your voice, I believe, makes sure these themes are able to reach every listener even though they don’t speak the language. How do you achieve it?
James Alynes :
Interesting question. Most of the time I’m disappointed in an artist discography because, while sometime good, I feel they lack that “realness” in their voice.
I try not to overdo it, but at the same time it’s important for me to express myself and give justice to my emotions.
If I’m angry, I want it to show in my voice too, not only in the instrumental or the mix. Same thing if I’m sad, happy, laughing etc. Your voice is an instrument too. The oldest instrument in History actually, use it.
Thank you for this interview. It has been a pleasure.
This track puts James Alynes on the map, hyping up the release of his massive achievement of album Que Ma Joie Demeure! Experimental and raw, “JIM BEAM” is a track you shall not miss out!
Don’t forget to support this project and to follow on Instagram, Twitter, SoundCloud, and Spotify. If you enjoy his music and are able to provide monetary support, you might consider downloading it on Bandcamp.
It also helps to stream and share this music; you can obviously find it in the following Playlists: Less Than 1,000 Followers, Fresh Singles, Indie Only, Alterindie State Of Mind, 12 New Songs This Week, and French Scene.
P.S. If you enjoy discovering new artists and fresh new music you can subscribe to this blog Less Than 1,000 Followers and follow the Playlist with all the artists that we have presented here!!!
This coverage was created via MusoSoup #Sustainablecurator
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