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Jim Noir talks second album

Jim Noir, Jim Noir LP

Feature by Jack Foley

FROM a Manchester bedroom to your stereo via outer space, we’re overjoyed to introduce the new album from Jim Noir. He’s named it after himself, but don’t be fooled into thinking he’s run out of ideas – Jim’s eponymous second album could well be one of the most expansive pop records you’ll hear this year.

Where Jim’s 2005 debut Tower Of Love was largely a collection of his EPs to date, this new album is conceived as a single piece and even (prog fans) has a central concept.

The first song introduces Commander Jameson, who sets off into space on the next track, All Right.

“He knows he wont be coming back but he tells his wife or whatever otherwise, to make her feel alright even though he knows he’s toast,” says Jim. “Then it goes back to the beginning, going through holidays when you’re a kid to finding yourself as an old man giving one last piece of advice before you die. It’s quite a sad record this time.”

Sad… but damned good. Jim’s music has always been a melee of different styles and influences, and this album sees him delving more into his electronic side and going further with melody and vocals than he’s ever gone before – there’s even some lead falsetto.

“A lot has changed since I recorded Tower Of Love,” says Jim. “I even used a slightly different haircut on this album too which I’m sure you will agree, has affected the sound in many ways.”

Jim Noir was born in Davyhulme, Manchester, in 1982. Always a music freak, he performed techno covers at school, star turns at karaoke bars and composed magical music in his bedroom. When he was finally discovered, the EPs that would form Tower Of Love had already been built on bedroom electronics funded by giro checks.

When it came to recording album number two, Noir found he had more facilities at his disposal.

“There was a bit more money floating round so we used Abbey Road this time,” he says. “There was a mastering effect we put on it with the preset title ‘Noir Bedroom Effect’. This is how me and George Martin got the sound together.”

Tower Of Love launched Noir in Europe and the US, where he’s toured extensively with various band line-ups and under different guises. Recently, he toured the UK with kindred spirits Super Furry Animals, and joined them onstage every night. Gruff Rhys even played roadie for Jim when his guitar strings broke one night.

“I did try many times on tour to join the band on a permanent basis but they kept batting me away with rolled up copies of their itinerary,” he jokes.