Welcome to the new Monday Mania! There were a few bands rattling around in my head for this week, but when it came down to writing, I just wasn’t all that inspired. Everything I wanted to write about seemed convoluted and overworked and with the weather as nice as it is, I wanted to keep this week’s mania breezy. All Summertime, and living is easy. Nothing too complicated; a little strumming, a lot of grinning, and a lot of heart. It’s still light out at 9 freaking PM and it’s the fucking best! So that’s what brings me to Shotgun Jimmie. Like his namesake, Shotgun Jimmie is a straight shooter. He’s not fucking around and he’s the kind of guy who can write a mean minute and half pop song that will get stuck in your head for days. He doesn’t think so hard; he just sings. And somehow it ends up perfect. And it always sounds like he’s telling the truth. 16 songs of truth in a little over half an hour. Singer songwriters worth their salt know how to write an economical song. You’ve got a minute to impress and Shotgun Jimmie can put a smile on your face in less time than that.
Just try listening to this song from his new LP Everything Everything without smiling. I bet you can’t. And not just because I have a weakness for musicians that fuck up their own song, but ukulele storytelling is so darn fun! Everything Everything sounds like a jubilation. Those 4 track recordings that wouldn’t sound out of place in a drunken sing along anthem at a friend’s open mic night (I’m looking at you WIND DOWNS). In the vein of Jens Lekman or Jeffrey Lewis, Shotgun Jimmie is the kind of songwriter that writes music to his stories and not the other way around. Right off of two years of touring through Canada, the US, and Europe, his new album was recorded in classic Canadian style, in a lakeside cabin in Manitoba.
“This is not the story of a love-wounded man, lost within his own beard, singing sad heartbreak, reclusive. No! Jimmie’s gone to the woods to sing the joys of love, and travel, and sunny climates! Like the bioluminescence, he’s positively aglow!”
I was first introduced to Shotgun Jimmie when he opened for John K Samson of The Weakerthans (arguably one of the greatest lyricists of our generation – there will be many Monday Mania posts dedicated to him in the future if you stick around) last year when they were touring for Provincial. Shotgun Jimmie’s set was brief, but so enjoyable that I had to look him up after the show. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that he’s really a Canadian gem in the rough. His last album Transistor Sister was even longlisted for the Polaris Prize in 2011. A listen at the below track and you’ll understand why.
So for all those summer days that bleed into night and you’re just drunk enough to tell the boy you like you really like him, Shotgun Jimmie will be on your side. Strum and sing along. Check out more of his new album EVERYTHING EVERYTHING here or on tour this summer.