Review: Jamie Woon at Pitchfork Showcase, SXSW

by Winston "Stone" Ford

With the ever expanding scope of the SXSW Festival, and fierce competition for eyeballs, it seems the Tuesday during the festival—not traditionally part of the showcase schedule—has become a new destination.

While only a fraction of participants were in town, there was already a strong presence on Tuesday night, especially for the US debut of UK soulster Jamie Woon. While the other male Js from the UK (James Blake and Jamie XX) have magazine covers, blog buzz, and US distribution, Woon it seems has neither. But don’t fret. That will change soon.

Jamie specializes in what the UK seems to do best—heartfelt and amazing vocals coupled with beats that are overly original and incomparable. Some of those beats come parttly because of his association with dubstep wunderkind Burial. During his short 35 minute set, he won over the crowd with tracks such as “Blue Truth” and closer “Lady Luck”. His awkward, almost shy stance on stage—a trademark it seems, of bedroom producers—means he’s no Justin Timberlake, however it’s is his voice that kept everyone occupied and the ladies paying attention. Truth be told, he looks more like the IT guy than a soul singer. However, as the saying goes…don’t judge a book by it’s cover.

But the most refreshing aspect of the show is how easily his overly electronic experience translates into a live setting. With his full band, complete with Woon moving from MPC to guitar with ease. With most songs written with an acoustic guitar, the electro vibes sound even better when complimented with a live band.

With acts such Quadron and Little Dragon gaining success in the States using the same Euro-R&B formula, it’s only a matter of time before Jamie will be a known entity in the States.

Jamie Woon at SXSW The Sound Pass Exclusive with Radio Milwaukee

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Jamie Woon – Lady Luck

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  • Marcus Dowling

    “Overly original?” Geez. I guess Portishead never made music, huh? It’s good, but OH so derivative of pretty much every other “white guys making soul music” movement that has come from the UK. I love you like family, homie, but PLEASE don’t try to shine up this well meaning nerd or any of these other well meaning nerds into the second coming of Johnathan Butler, Lisa Stansfield, Massive Attack, etc., etc., and so forth. Just another really smart kid making really smart music. Nice, but hell, aren’t we done with this yet? Next I guess you’re gonna tell me that Toro Y Moi is an original when Stevie Wonder already has walked the road he’s tread…

  • Nickp

    Actually for you to say Stevie’s name included with Toro is a TRAVESTY in itself! But I get your point. He went to the Brit school so they’re all pretty much prepped for success. Is Jamie creating something new? No, is it worthy of a listen? Absolutely, more talented than that other boring bloke James Blake.

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