Sunday, May 20, 2012

Artist of the Day: Scrimshire

Ever since the internet became a necessity instead of a luxury, the idea of releasing a single has become something of an oddity. We're told that 95% of homes have a file-sharer under the roof, so the singles charts have become redundant: how do you know if a release has been successful if next to no one between the ages of 12 and 50 buys music any more? For the same reason, there is no longer a necessity for releases to be cheaper in order for people to buy them; if anything sales numbers have been replaced by YouTube view counts and Twitter hash-tags. So imagine my surprise when, just yesterday on another miserable English Saturday afternoon, I stuck my hand into the great torrent of music pouring out of the internet only to emerge with a single that would introduce me to one of the most interesting indie musicians to be working today.

I digress, to label Scrimshire as indie would be to ignore the well-seasoned melting pot of his styles. Folk plays hand-in-hand with RnB, in the background jazz battles it out with funk, and rhythms shift between morose and infectiously danceable. The single I picked up, "Everything You Say", mixes these styles to produce a very catchy, almost tribal strain of contemplative funk. It's a blend hostile to any definition, and to think that all this multi-instrumental madness comes from one man is humbling. The guest vocals, provided by one Heidi Vogel, match this ambitious fusion by juxtaposing the styles of reggae and soul, resulting in an extraordinarily memorable performance.

The Hollow, the full-LP on which "Everything You Say" originally made its appearance, was released late last year and brings together an even more ambitious range of styles into the mix. The most pleasantly surprising of which, for me at least, were the footprints of hip-hop and electronic, which both make a strong appearance in "Alignment". For an LP of this quality to be released last year and be largely ignored, one can't help but feel a little bit embarrassed. However, with the wonderful benefit of hindsight, I kindly ask you to take a brief trip back to November 2011 and pretend that we all weren't too busy pre-emptively compiling end of year lists to catch one of the best releases of that year.

Everything You Say, along with The Hollow and many other releases, can be streamed from bandcamp.


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