The problem with most contemporary female artists is that they’re always pretending to be something that they’re not. Sometimes it’s sophisticated sexual, other times its bad kickass. Checkout the Beyonces and Rihannas of the world to see who is currently dominating the spotlight. We live in a celebrity culture where almost anybody can become famous. However, too often, the people who really should to be in the public eye are not there, because they’re too busy doing meaningful work. Ishani Bagga aka Jimmy The Mouth, promotes her craft by simply being true to herself. There seem to be no shortcuts or superficial elaborations in her artistic visions.
“My Body Is A Christmas Tree” is an album produced in 20 days using an eight-track tape recorder. Therefore do not expect a crystal clear ‘Abbey Road Studios’ production, instead prepare to bathe your senses in creative, eclectic and heavily reverberated-sounding Christmas songs, with a distinct bohemian twist.
I’ve just discovered Jimmy The Mouth and this is the first album I have heard, by the artist. I confess to have been baffled at first by her whimsical vocal deliveries and unconventional, offbeat musical sorties. But as I’m always on the lookout for artists with a different approach to music, I have to admit that her style certainly catches the ear.
After listening to the 11-track album, a couple of times, I was convinced by her enthusiasm and unique sound. The song renditions on “My Body Is A Christmas Tree” may at first remind you of the quackish girl you met at the local church choir, who always played campfire guitar; but it would be misleading to say the charm of this album is only its unassuming sound. After a number of listens I have found myself filled with considerable admiration for Jimmy The Mouth’s musical arrangements, in their colorful starkness. If you think this phrase to be nonsensical…you’re wrong! Colorful starkness, is exactly what I meant. Her songs are like perfect origami cutouts with everything in place, in just the right proportion.
Earthy and idiosyncratic, but quite fun and often very moving too. There are probably a large number of rather more famous bands who could benefit from listening to what Jimmy The Mouth has done here. Who knows where her musical ideas come from, but she’s definitely onto something.
“My Body Is A Christmas Tree” includes traditional classics like “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, “O Come O Come Emmanuel”, “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night”. And even if she did record it in her bedroom closet or basement, this album will warm your heart and put a smile on your face.
Highly original, nobody that I know sings and arranges music, the way that Ishani Bagga aka Jimmy The Mouth, does. On this album she also handles all vocals, instruments, recording, production, cover art and photography. The album also contains bonus art by Itmam Kashem.
Towards the New Year, Jimmy The Mouth will be releasing yet another Ep. I am quite fascinated to hear what this non-glitzy, anti-folk artist will dish up next!