There are some bands like Fleet Foxes and Simon & Garfunkel that seem to dispense a blanket of comforting Americana and nostalgia from their songs. When you listen to these bands it’s as if you can feel the expansion of our nation over time and when you look back upon it, it feels promising. I have to say that when I listened to Sleeping with the T.V. On by Chris Jamison I had that same feeling. The five songs on this EP feel rather sparse and are open. It might as well be Jamison and his acoustic but the subtleties of the drums, bass, etc. add some nice body. His voice is inviting, nostalgic and dosed with the perfect amount of reverb. If I didn't know any better I'd say they used plate 140 reverb on the vocals. This is Jamison’s fourth EP and having listened to some of his previous work I would have to say this seemed to be his best.
“Carousel” is the first song off the album and excels because of the vocal melody and lyrics. Don't get me wrong the music is great but his voice is what separates it from a lot of other singer/songwriters. According to Jamison the song “seems to ponder the fate of the complacent masses, happy with this year’s newest trends and toys, but hollowed of any marrow or substance…content in their own discontent and ever looking for happiness” which is a concept which seems more true than ever as we sit in anticipation waiting for the new iPhone or something like Google glass. “Summer Comes Tomorrow” is a joyous song they has harmonies that are a bit reminiscent of the South African musicians that Paul Simon used on Graceland.As with the first song it is still Jamison’s voice that seems to be the centerpiece and that elevates the song to the next level. The song seems be a natural dopamine boost and I felt as if I was in a better mood whenever I listened to it.
The title alone “Waiting On a Change” is enough for you to shed a tear. While the song is drenched in melancholy there is a sense of hope and perseverance that creates a wonderful and near cathartic listening experience. According to Jamison the song “Joseph” is “inspired by a true story of an Iraq veteran returning from war a shadow of the person he was…haunted by PTSD;” a specific topic that is performed eloquently and without pretense. The album closes with “Faded Glory” which is a meditation on hedonistic consumerism and the somewhat ignorant, oblivious behavior we have in terms of the way that some of these products are produced, i.e. Foxconn and your iPhone.
Overall, there aren't any weak moments on the EP. It is full of songs that while somewhat melancholy feel rejuvenating and hopeful at the same time. Keep an eye on this one and take a listen.
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