Having released several critically acclaimed singles earlier this year, UK singer-songwriter Jamie Beale has now released his cracking debut album Hello Nimbus. Self produced and engineered by Katie May from Real World Studios, Jamie wrote Hello Nimbus during the fall of the first Covid lockdown, after an extremely isolated period of his life. The record is inspired by the idea of escapism and running away to your own world, lyrically exploring and contemplating the loss of love, identity and purpose, but also what can emerge from this.
Jamie has an array of musical achievements under his belt; as vocalist and songwriter of Bristol-based rock band Novatines he’s toured the UK and Europe extensively and has received international radio play on BBC Radio 2, 6 and Radio X. We caught up with him to talk about Hello Nimbus.
Hi Jamie! How’s everything going right now?
Great thanks, working on a lot of new music so the fun never stops!
What classic album cover is your current mood?
Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd, I’ve actually got the album cover tattooed on my body!
Your debut album, Hello Nimbus, is out now. When and where were the songs written and recorded?
I recorded the songs around this time last year, mostly in my flat, the drums and guitars were recorded at Joe’s Garage in Bristol and we did a whole load of recording and mixing at Katie May’s house (the engineer for the record). We also recorded at an undisclosed location but I guess not knowing is the magic of the mystery huh?
You’ve said the record is inspired by a sense of escapism – that’s very appropriate after what we’ve gone through over the last few years!
Yeh big time! If it wasn’t for the Covid lockdowns, I don’t know if I’d be doing what I’m doing now, it was an incredibly unsettling time, but it made me recalibrate my life somewhat!
If you could listen to one record, what would it be?
Probably Revolver by the Beatles, it’s a mind blowing masterpiece.
You did an amazing one-shot video for “Champagne People” which must have been a real challenge, especially for your first music video? Were there many outtakes or did it go right first time?
Hahaha okay, maybe I should confess… it’s not actually a one shot video… there’s two or three really sneaky edits, hats off to Ethan Porter who is an absolute genius behind the camera. To tell you the truth, we planned on doing it as a one shot, but there were so many flights of stairs in the location we were filming in, so to get from one room to another, it might be 2 or 3 flights of stairs, and for the audience, just watching me get my daily steps in would be lame as shit… so we figured we’d create a little illusion just to keep the pace going, I think we did 4 or 5 takes in total!
The album sounds like you have a wide range of influences. I hear some War on Drugs, some 1975 and “Charade” is very Pink Floyd-esque. Who did you listen to when you were growing up?
I didn’t discover the War On Drugs until I finished this record, but they’ve become a fast favourite of mine, Adam Granduciel is an incredible lyricist, some of his lines have the power to fill me with so much emotion. I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of 1975, no hate against them but I just never got the bug that so many seemed to get, maybe it’ll get me down the line? Who knows.
Pink Floyd was a big one for me, I think that’s obvious from some of my approach to guitar, it’s not super intentional but when I was a teenager, my dad would play Pink Floyd in the car all the time, I’ve got some really fond memories of that, me and him are still huge Floyd fans to the day. When I was a kid, I listened to a lot of Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bruce Springsteen, Frank Turner, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Gorillaz, Metallica, Lower Than Atlantis, Avenged Sevenfold etc…
Do you have any live shows planned as part of the release?
I played a really cool show in London recently, producer and songwriting wizard and all round legend Jake Gosling got me on one of his nights, it was an incredible experience. There are some more shows in the works for next year, but I come from a touring background so the intention of this project was more studio based, but I think it’s time to really hit the road again!
What would go on your signature pizza and what would it be called?
Ah man, I’m actually boring as fuck with my pizza, so I’m a Margarita guy… I know, I know… basic, but pizza is my absolute favourite meal, and for me a Margarita is like The Beatles or Beach Boys, don’t fuck with the classics!
What do you have planned for 2023?
Shows, studio and writing… the debut album is out, and now I’ve gotta follow it up!
Photo Credit: Colin Hawkins