Sun July 10
3939 N. Mississippi
Like many aspiring artists, English singer-songwriter James William Hindle felt compelled to ditch his small-town origins (a village outside Leeds) in order to find success. And initially, he admits, living in London proved advantageous. "I met a lot of like-minded people with whom I could make music and put on shows."
But then came the twist: He fell in love… with a bloke who resided out in rural Yorkshire. Consequently, Hindle found himself writing the songs for his third album, Town Feeling, in two distinct emotional states. "At first, I was quite unhappy, so I was pining a lot, lamenting being stuck in the city." Finally, he put the bright lights behind him and moved out to the country with his beloved, prompting another spate of composing, this time in a happier frame of mind.
The contrasting sentiments nestle together comfortably on Town Feeling, which modulates easily between firm familiarity (the three-quarter pulse anchoring "Dog & Boy") and a haze of '60s-style vocal harmonies, haunting steel guitar, and subtle organ tones. Simple, graceful originals like "Love You More," complete with a lively banjo break, recall sun-kissed California country-rock in the style of Graham Parsons, and Hindle's cohorts on the disc include members of Ladybug Transistor, Of Montreal, Currituck Co., and Vetiver.
His introduction to music came via less rarified channels. "Through my parents, I originally got into things like Simon & Garfunkel and John Denver," says the 28-year-old. His fondness for the latter prompted him to approach former Red House Painters frontman Mark Kozelek about participating in his 2000 John Denver tribute record, Take Me Home. Though virtually unknown, Hindle's rendition of "Whispering Jesse" held its own alongside performances by Low and Bonnie Prince Billie, and led to a deal for Hindle.
Although his label, Badman Recordings, is based in San Francisco, and he recorded Town Feeling in Brooklyn, Hindle plans on remaining in the sticks. "Being in an urban environment sapped my creativity. You're just one fish in the big pond," he observes. "With fewer people around, what you do seems more significant."