Sunday, February 03, 2019

Weekend Diversion: Jamie McDell

This Weekend Diversion about Jamie McDell is different from many that I’ve posted. First, she’s a country artist, which is uncommon enough for me. But I also can’t say anything about chart performance, like I usually do. Instead, this post is mostly about the artist’s music. That probably should be the point, anyway.

Jamie McDell is what what’s called an “alt-country” artist, whatever that means, from Auckland. I first heard of her last year, and was reminded of her recently when I happened on her recent single, 3AM (video above), which was released in November last year. I think it’s a nice enough song, but I have no idea whether anyone else did.

Jamie’s Wikipedia page hasn’t been updated with information about her releases since her 2014 release, so I have no idea what the chart performance has been. Our official NZ music chart site has no search function, nor any tabs for genres, and is limited to the top 40, so I couldn’t really check any chart performance. Nevertheless, I looked at the Top 40 from the first week after the video above was posted up to the most recent, and that song wasn’t on it. For whatever that’s worth.

Her official website isn’t any more helpful about her chart performance, though it does have information about her and her touring data. I think all of this is a missed opportunity for an independent artist: Relentless self-promotion is the only way to cut through all the—let’s be honest—foreign hype.

Be that as it may, I think she has an interesting sound, and her songs’ subjects are varied. That’s a good thing in itself.

The video for the next song, “Running Now”, was posted in July of last year:

Finally, the first of her songs I ever heard, “Tori”, which features Australian country artist Kasey Chambers. The video was released in March of last year.

I’m not exactly a country music fan as such (“alt-country” included…), though there’s plenty I like. But because I’m not a country fan, I’m not really in touch with what New Zealand country music is popular, and that means I miss a lot of what’s released. So, when I happen to run across a New Zealand country artist, that’s unusual enough, and it’s even more unusual for my attention to be captured. This time, it was, and I’d like to see more from Jamie, and to see how she grows as an artist.

But because I know so little about her, her music, and how successful she’s been so far, this post is mostly about Jamie’s music. That probably should be the point, anyway.

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