When Jamie Freeman writes a song - he means it (maaannn). There aren’t half measures or compromises. He writes from, and straight to, the heart. When he writes, then you have to listen.
His last album, the sophomore release “100 Miles From Town”, was a glorious slice of hook-laden English-infused Americana that rocked in all the right places, but more importantly was the rallying point for a songwriter that clearly treads his own path and weaves clear musical influences ranging from 60’s beat artists through the edginess of punk and into the future where commercialism meets political and emotional reality.
In short, the “Hasia Dreams” EP is the logical progression from it’s predecessor.
There is a natural spikiness about Freeman’s songwriting, but he has an innate propensity and skill that allows him to slightly burr those caustic edges when it comes to forthright lyrical cynicism and comment. Back in the early 80’s, Weller was a master at this game. Jamie Freeman is about as close as you’ll get to that art nowadays.
Lead song “Hasia Dreams” wanders down the path of exposing right wing political chicanery and brilliantly fuses the heartbreaking tale of Hasia, the refugee, with a tune that immediately insinuates its way into your consciousness via understated riff-age and a gnarly melody. It’s a song that exposes real life in real times, but also uncovers Freeman's less obvious psychedelic influences.
“Rum and Smoke”, written and recorded with Doug and Telisha Williams of Wild Ponies in Nashville, is Freeman at his best - all angular melodies, chiming guitar, and perfunctory guitar solos, while the epic character-led “Shiprock” has whispers of ‘Tommy’-era Who playing around it’s periphery. Heck, in a past era it’s the kind of song that concept albums were built around!
In the final analysis though, this EP serves to highlight just how good a songwriter Freeman really is. His work as a sought-after producer and record label owner may well have limited his recorded output over the last few years, but the “Hasia Dreams” EP is a well-timed reminder to the world at large, that here in England we have a songwriter capable of matching the best.
|Jim White: Waffles, Triangles and Jesus||Assembly Lane: Northbound|
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