Tender ballads + indie floor-fillers
Sarah Taylor
13:43 20th July 2022

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Jamie T’s absence has become a bit of an urban legend. There’s been an odd appearance on Carl Barat’s Instagram and sporadic production credits, but no new music since 2016’s Trick. Though six years isn’t a huge gap between albums, Jamie T has been sorely missed.

With The Theory of Whatever, the Wimbledon wordsmith has crafted a set of tracks that will feel familiar, whilst offering something completely different to his previous records. Take opener ‘90s Cars’ for example, soaked in nostalgia, strangely sad, but musically there’s something else going on, a sprinkling of lo-fi production. Its polar opposite arrives three tracks later with ‘Keying Lamborghinis’, a sprechgesang track spat over an old school hip-hop style piano melody.

His music still traces London suburbs (‘The Terror of Lambeth Love’, the folk-tinged ‘St George Wharf Tower’), run-ins with the law, and the type of observational yet empathic storytelling that set him apart from other songwriters when he burst onto the scene with ‘Sheila’. Lead single ‘The Old Style Raiders’ does this well, a gnarly track with a suitably anthemic chorus – no wonder it’s one of his favourite tracks he’s ever made.

Jamie T has once again proved his equal ability to craft a tender ballad (‘Thank You’) and an indie floor-filler (‘Between the Rocks’), a melancholic moment or a stick-it-to-the-man sort of tongue-twister. It’s good to have him back.

The Theory of Whatever arrives 22 July via Polydor.

Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.

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