Archives for posts with tag: Jim Nothing

The name’s Nothing. Jim Nothing. I like my secret alt-pop agents under-stated, DIY, and a bit rough-hewn around the edges. I like them even more when they arrive with a new album out of nowhere after several years of, well, nothing, and floor you with strange, unexpected new sounds. In this case, lo-fi, DIY, cassette release Jim Nothing has simultaneously fulfilled, exceeded, and confounded early promise. Collaborating with an avante-garde violinist/vocalist Anita Clark (Motte) is an unexpected turn for a shambling jangling fuzzy guitar pop Nothing. On the strength of the two initial songs released ahead of Jim Nothing’s “In The Marigolds” album in September, it’s a glorious combination. Here’s “Yellow House”:

It’s been 7 years since the initial run of 2 cassette EPs and a split cassette EP with Wurld Series. Since then Nothing’s alter-ego James Sullivan has been busy in all manner of bands, including drummer for Salad Boys. This time round the ubiquitous Brian Feary is drumming, while also recording, mixing, mastering “In The Marigolds”. Feary is the heart & soul of Christchurch’s underground DIY scene and Melted Ice Cream Records, a 21st century Chris Knox if you like, without the jandals and shorts.

But it’s the pairing of melodic string instrument talents with violinist and vocalist Anita Clark (her own extraordinary sound explorations under the name Motte) that gives these two initial songs (and presumably the whole album) an unexpected melodic richness and sonic balance. Clark’s violin parts on “Yellow House” evoke the dark drone spirit The Velvet Underground’s John Cale in the verse, and the melodic flight of The Go-Between’s Amanda Brown in the chorus.

The album is released on vinyl – a white and black option – and will have a European release too via Meritorio Records in Madrid, Spain. It was an instant “Buy Now” for me on the strength of these two tracks. Can’t wait to get lost in the marigolds with Jim Nothing in a few months when this is fully released.


Day 23 of NZ Music Month is from Christchurch band Wurld Series & the budget psychedelia of “Still in the Pool” from their side of a split cassette shared with Jim Nothing.

“Still in the Pool” builds on the strummed guitar, voice and percussion, adding an bottomless pool of reverb guitar in the background. It’s this modest but perfect little experimental touch which gives the song it’s captivating atmosphere.

Their whole side of that (sold out) split cassette is pretty wonderful and varied. There’s a strong bedroom psych-rock experimental pop thing going on and their DIY (cassette?) recording is warm and true. There’s some quite beautiful things on there I wasn’t expecting, like “Stone Door” too.

Jim Nothing

Day 7 of our 31 Days of May/ Month of Madness Music Marathon comes from Jim Nothing, representing Christchurch’s lo-fi DIY music scene and continuing a long tradition in that damaged city of murky, menacing, fuzzy obscure sounds from the margins.

“Raleigh Arena” is from a 4 track cassette EP called “Zig Zag Blues” recorded on a 4-track Tascam cassette recorder and released in February. It’s the brightest light on this EP. Although only 1 minute 18 seconds of jangly discordant fuzz-pop, it manages to coalesce the entire essence of The Clean in their earliest incarnation so perfectly you’ll be hitting ‘rewind’ (figuratively-speaking) repeatedly.

The other 3 tracks on the EP are also great – the two-paced menacing post-punk-meets-fuzz-pop of “What Can I Say?”, the over-the-top thrash-skronk of “Doubt” and the crunchy psychobilly punk distortion of the title track, which, at almost 5 minutes long, is half the EP’s running time.