SHOTGUN JIMMIE launches his album at the Monarch Tavern on Friday (March 29). See listings. Rating: NNNN
It's tortured artists who usually grab the spotlight, channelling their pain and anger into, say, stirring folk or electrifying post-punk. Then there's Shotgun Jimmie, aka Jim Kilpatrick, whose albums are cheerful, charming and full of zeal. His short-and-sweet indie rock songs don't try too hard, nor are they lazily tossed off. Self-recorded on four-track, they have a lo-fi edge that keeps them intimate.
On Everything, Everything, the Sackville-based musician's lyrics are his greatest asset. "Darling, it's alarming that we both got into farming," he croons on acoustic gem Growing Like A Garden. Set against energetic guitars and easygoing tempos, they surprise with their sweetness, vividness and skilful phrasing. Sturdy rocker Ladyhawk name-checks Guided by Voices while also being influenced by that band.
In a few places (Carry On, Bridge Street Stage) the rhyme schemes and vocal delivery veer too close to Joel Plaskettisms. But in others, like the achingly tender Last Night (with Leanne Zacharias on backup) and total departure I Will Climb Mountains, he makes exciting leaps forward in songwriting and mood.
Top track: Last Night