Saturday, 10 January 2015

Single Review - Jonnie Common - Shark

The best thing about Shark  by Glaswegian artist Jonnie Common is that it is so full of sly joy and humour it is hard to not crack into a grin when listening to it for the first time.  Lifted from the album Trapped in Amber,  released on Song, by Toad Records, the single starts with an Over The Wall-esque rumble of drums, chopped vocals and electronic waves, before sharply turning into a softly spoken pop song with crisp lyrics.

The melodic hook is one of the most wonderful I've heard in a very long time, and the lyrics are so quotable I am reminded of a younger Aidan Moffat in full flow.  The playful nature of the arrangement and the clever lyrics are married in such a way that they don't feel random, despite the sources of the music being far ranging.  I'm reminded too of the inventiveness of Max Tundra on Parallax Error Beheads You  (with a little less aggressive randomness) or maybe even Scotland's own art collective Found and their masterpiece Factorycraft.

Picking the line "sex on holiday gives me the impression that I'm never going to die / because the air is so full of oxygen" as a stand out was easy as it is a fabulously clever line, and the female backed shout of "It's a secret!" on the later half of the record fulfills the track's early promise of being a true stand out single of the year, and is the perfect track to make me investigate the rest of the album.

Which I have done, and it's great, so there is that too. [check out Scottish Fiction's review of Trapped in Amber  here.]

- Mark Shields

Jonnie Common - Shark  is available as a free download via Song, by Toad Records here or via the embed below.

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