Fifteen years of leading one of Australia's most consistently creative and critically acclaimed rock bands, Bluebottle Kiss, saw Jamie Hutchings write and release over 130 songs. During that time the band relentlessly toured the country, the US and Europe playing with bands as diverse as Beck, Midnight Oil and Dinosaur Jr .With His Imaginary Choir, Hutchings releases his second solo album, an amazing collection of concise narrative driven songs inspired by amongst other things, the exotica movement of the sixties and the singer/songwriter movement of the early seventies.
Since beginning his career in the early nineties on Sony's Murmur with Something for Kate and Jebidiah, it was clear that Jamie's musical ambitions did not fit cleanly into the defined parameters of contemporary rock. Instead Bluebottle Kiss relentlessly explored genres ranging from jazz to country at the same time as developing a reputation for ferociously intense live shows honed from endlessly touring Australia the US and Europe.
However as an antidote to Bluebottle Kiss' sprawling, epic double CD of 2006, Doubt Seeds, Jamie's insatiable curiousity turned not to further exploration but to constraints with his latest release 'His Imaginary Choir'.
Co-produced by Jamie and Tony Dupe (Holly Throsby, Jack Ladder , Saddleback etc), His Imaginary Choir is an exercise in using simple yet alien arrangements and minimal studio resources to create a domestic yet amazingly rich sound.
Lyrically, His Imaginary Choir frequently explores the simple notion of how we imagine we communicate. Whether it's someone trying to pep talk another into a new post-disaster beginning (After the Flood), the clumsy recollections of a first time meeting to a long time friend (The World Grows Tinier) or the deluded rationalisations of a man who dances alone for his own pleasure (You Don't Dance), His Imaginary Choir looks at a number of blurry scenarios where one struggles to connect with the other. As always Hutchings reaps unpredictable results. The template for indie rock singer/songwriters solo albums is country-tinged Americana territory. His Imaginary Choir sees Hutchings mostly move away from this obvious path and instead follow through on his previous fascination for exotica and choral arrangements. There's an element of light and barely contained joy at times, with Martin Denny-like percussion and instrumentation partnered with a childlike naive kind of wonder courtesy of the Georges Auric-like choral arrangements.