Rumble and Sway - EP
With six songs that leave you wanting six more, Jamie N Commons' Rumble and Sway EP plays more like a mini-album. Though Commons is often compared to Birthday Party–era Nick Cave or a young Tom Waits, the rootsy and boomy title track opens with the English singer/songwriter sounding more like latter-day Van Morrison. From the rollicking parlor piano to the blaring horn section and the rootsy guitar tones, the bluesy elements are legit. At age six, Commons moved to Chicago and soon gravitated toward The Windy City’s deeply embedded blues history. But his later relocation to London to study music at Goldsmiths in New Cross helps explain his knack for crafting unforgettable pop melodies. “Wash Me in the Water” cleverly blends timeless Southern gospel trimmings with the kind of forward-thinking production one might expect on a Beth Orton album. Still, it’s his moving melodies that prevail here and throughout Rumble and Sway. The standout tune “The Preacher” closes on a dusty dirge.