Glasgow-based darling of the Scottish underground scene Jonnie Common is back, with his second solo album since leaving behind indie-folk project Down the Tiny Steps a few years ago. With Trapped in Amber, he has switched from Manchester label Red Deer Club to Edinburgh’s strangely-named Song, by Toad but he shows no signs of compromising his use of the peculiar noises and samples that litter his quirky creations. Here, he has chosen instead to make them more prominent, while sacrificing much of the guitar that dominated his earlier work.
After releasing his debut album to great acclaim on Manchester indie Red Deer Club, Jonnie's second album come out on Edinburgh cottage industry Song, by Toad Records. Jonnie has the ability to make the oddest noises sound like the most approachable pop songs, and this album showcases that talent perfectly. If you look closely at how the songs are assembled you'll hear a lot of really odd noises, and yet the result is an album of lush, warm pop music.
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It's exciting for Hype Machine to be able to support a release from Scottish indie Song By Toad Records, seeing as the label grew out of one of the longest-running music blogs on our site.
I'm sure the opening of Jonnie Common's album "Trapped in Amber" is the funniest I've heard in a while. Stream the LP in full right now via Hypem! The stream is delivered via this source.
Throughout Trapped In Amber, Common’s winking Scottish brogue guides us through an endearing album that pauses for an absurd humorous moment like a playback of a phone message about picking up a hedgehog but mostly purveys a small, yet personal sense of wisdom. Among the wryness, there’s the realness of life: so and so beat the cancer; so and so didn’t beat the cancer, he relays to us on ‘So And So’. Common pulls threads between folk, percussive rock, classic pop and electronic music that fits this disposition. Common sums up Trapped In Amber best on penultimate track ‘Figurehead’ : I’m wet behind the ears. I’ve been cleaning all my ideas, good or bad. They’ve been had; they’ve been formed; It’s not entirely planned. They deserve my attention, though I can’t finish everything I start, I have the best intention.