New Music: Shotgun Jimmie’s ‘Field of Trampolines’

‘Field of Trampolines’ is Shotgun Jimmie’s summer anthem for the adventures of young twenty-somethings. Written on the tail-end of a summer-long Canadian tour and produced in a four-day recording stint by Nova Scotia’s own star, Joel Plaskett, the album echoes late night campfires, beach days, and road trips.

Jimmie’s sophomore album, ‘Transistor Sister’ was well received. Released in 2011, ‘Transistor Sister’ felt like a true Canadian alt-rock album. A little discordant, a little underdog-singing-from-the-curb-side, it was filled with distortion, sick bass lines, and a solid kick drum foundation. Paired with some poignant lyrics, it was like a kick to the heart: resonating, but energetic.

‘Peel it all off / the sun burnin’ your skin / the cowboy usually wins / so you’ll probably end up with him’

Field of Trampolines’, in contrast, with its clear and bright tones, is a different experience, but in a good way. Having discarded any semblance of youthful angst, the album has more of a laid-back indie feel, its sound perhaps influenced by its producer. The artist’s voice hasn’t been lost in translation, but it’s had an unmistakably mellowing effect. These are the songs of a man wearing a cardigan. ‘Field of Trampolines’ is to ‘Transistor Sister’ what ‘Park Avenue Sobriety Test’ is to ‘Down at the Khyber’.

Lyrically, his songs have stayed true to his experiencesa few romantic musings, a few witticismsbut others bring us to a place of bright and happy memories. This is where Jimmie finds his gold. Jimmie has a way of relating to those who love to explore the world around them; he sings of adventurous, youthful, and carefree moments. It makes for college bar stomping music, while reading like a summer bucket list as we follow in Jimmie’s steps.

‘Dirty old hotel / Dirty old motel / Dirty old town / Dirty old night club / Dirty old hot tub/ Dirty old town / Dirty old sports car / Dirty old guitar / Dirty old town / Dirty old six string / Dirty old everything / Dirty all around’

Which might come across as less than flattering until you realize the song is titled ‘Love Letter’ and sounds like a summer tour-diary if I’ve ever heard one. He also offers up an unabashed ode to Guelph rockers Constantines with ‘Constantines Believer’ and nostalgic praise for an archaic technology with ‘Walkman Battery Bleed’ that dips even further back with a ‘Heart and Soul’ interlude. These are a few of Jimmie’s favourite things. Which is nice. Maybe letting go of the angst, and keeping on the positive side is just a matter of maturation. Sometimes you’ve just got to sing about things you love.

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