What have we been listening to a lot lately? Nothing. That might seem strange for the executive team of the world famous When You Motor Away blog, but it is true. But details matter, and the 'nothing' that occupies our time isn't the sound of silence, but rather In The Marigolds, the new LP from New Zealand's Jim Nothing. The name of the project is striking, but inaccurate. First, the band consists or more than a man named Jim. There actually are three members: James Sullivan (vocals/guitar), Anita Clark (vocals/violin), and Brian Feary (drums). Second, the implication from the term "nothing" could be that there isn't much of consequence offered on the album. But as followers of the New Zealand scene would attest, any band comprised of members of Salad Boys, Wurld Series, The Phoenix Foundation, Motte and other projects is going to be well worth our time.
The songs on In The Marigolds tip the cap to a lot of the South Island bands that have thrilled us in the past, as well as the other projects of the band members. But a tip of the cap is just a reference point, not an imitation. Here Jim Nothing stitches a tapestry of jangle and guitar pop with accents of fuzz and scuzz. The rhythm section chugs with authority and the vocals have a slightly scuffed up charm. And it must be said that Anita Clark makes a strong case for the violin in a pop/rock band. In our view, this is one of those albums that you like quite a bit when you first hear it, and then you like it better each time you listen. We can't always define what 'our thing' is in music, but In The Marigolds is our thing.
All the songs on In The Marigolds were written by James Sullivan. Additional players were Ben Odering (bass) and Paul Brown (bass). The album is out now via Meritorio Records (EU) and Melted Ice Cream (NZ).