New Thing #112: A New Life

Jim_JamesHere's another music New Thing courtesy of Starbucks' 'Pick of the Week': It's "A New Life", by Jim James.

You may know James from the band My Morning Jacket - this is one of his solo efforts.

I'm sorry to say that if you're interested in this song you're going to have to buy it yourself - this 'Pick of the Week' is actually the 'Pick of A Couple of Weeks Ago'.

First, some history: I own one My Morning Jacket song (I think thanks to a free Starbucks download from a couple of years ago, actually), and I don't know that I'd heard any Jim James solo music before now.

But I certainly know about him - my brother cites him as one of the major influences on his own music career. (Also there's this, which I've always found amusing: apparently this is no longer true, but when he did solo work in the past he went by 'Yim Yames' rather than 'Jim James'. And for all I know he still spelled it 'Jim James'.)

What's interesting about this song - "A New Life" - is that it's like it comes in three parts - the beginning is almost a cappella, very vocal with limited background music; then the middle is more rhythmic; and it ends almost sounding very oldies-like - the vocal sound changes and James sounds like he's channeling his inner Jay and the Americans when he sings his last words. Then as the song fades out it has a very 1950's-sounding feel to it.

The name of the album on which you can find the song is called (I think) 'Regions of Light and Sound of God'

Just for the heck of it I re-visited the original My Morning Jacket download I had - it's called "Wonderful (The Way I Feel)". It's a good listen. I've heard enough good things about My Morning Jacket and Jim James himself that I'm not surprised to find that I enjoy these songs...and find that I'll probably be looking into their music in the future.

Meantime, I found this video of James singing "A New Life" at this year's SXSW for you to enjoy: