When you’ve played with as many styles of music as Jamie Lidell, talking about making your record a "mess" in order to find your musical self seems a bit ironic. But it actually makes tons of sense.
Lidell spent the early part of his career experimenting with techno and dance music before doing an about-face with 2008′s Jim, which was influenced by ’60s and ’70s soul.
He’s just released Compass, his fourth studio album, which seems a combination of all his albums to date plus some new ideas. He says its material and title are a direct reaction to Jim.
"I think with the last album, perhaps I was guilty a little bit of trying to imagine what other people wanted me to be as opposed to just being myself and letting that be enough, you know," Lidell says on the phone from New York. "So this time I just wanted to return to me, in a way. That’s a big muddle and a big mess, so it feels good to be back."
Lidell recorded Compass over a five-month period in Los Angeles with Beck, at Feist’s studio in the Great White North and Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor in New York.
All three had a handle in producing the record, which feels like a combination of Jim and and 2005′s techno-filled Multiply. But Lidell says it’s got some huge differences, too, but don’t let multiple producers make you think someone else is guiding it.
"Part of the reason I called it Compass was because I wanted to remain true to myself, and I think for a while I felt bad about having such a wide range of interests, I guess, musically speaking," he says.
"I guess I was kind of a little bit more prone to thinking, like, ‘Is that cool? Is that going to work? Are people going to get it?’ [with Jim]. It wasn’t a major issue, but I definitely felt like I wasn’t completely trusting my compass with the last record, and that’s why I wanted to do that a bit more on this one…
"This album is much more about me, I think, needing to be the centre of it all and kind of calling the shots a little bit."
Lidell is touring with an entirely new band in support of Compass, and you can see him wearing huge shades and sticking TVs on his head here:
June 9 Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live
June 10 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
June 12 Toronto, ON @ The Mod Club
June 14 Vancouver, BC @ The Venue
June 16 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
June 18 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
June 19 Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
July 3 London, England @ Hyde Park (Wireless Festival)
July 6 Montreux, Switzerland @ Montreux Jazz Festival
July 8 Liege, Belgium @ Parc Astrid De Coronmeuse (Les Ardentes Festival)
July 9 Rotterdam, Netherlands @ Ahoy (North Sea Jazz Festival)
July 10 Bruges, Belgium @ Minnewaterpark (Cactus Festival)
July 11 Dublin, Ireland @ Punchestown Racecourse (Oxegen Festival)
July 16 Lisbon, Portugal @ Parque De Tejo (Super Bock Super Rock)
July 17 Grafenhainichen, Germany @ Ferropolis (Melt! Festival)
July 18 Southwold, England @ Henham Park (Latitude Festival)
July 31 Montreal, QC @ Parc Jean-Drapeau (Osheaga Music And Arts Festival)
Aug. 5 Salt Lake City, UT @ Pioneer Park (Twilight Concert Series) w/ Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings
Aug. 6 Chicago, IL @ Grant Park (Lollapalooza)
Sept. 4 Seattle, WA @ Seattle Center (Bumbershoot 2010)
Sept. 6 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
Sept. 7 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre
Sept. 8 Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre
Sept. 9 St. Louis, MO @ The Old Rock House
Sept. 10 Cleveland, OH @ The Grog Shop
Sept. 11 Boston, MA @ Royale Nightclub
Sept. 20 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Sept. 21 Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
Sept. 22 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
Sept. 24 Austin, TX @ Antone’s
Sept. 25 Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
Sept. 27 Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room
Sept. 28 Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
Oct. 2 Petaluma, CA @ Mystic Theater
Oct. 5 Calgary, AB @ Republik
Oct. 7 Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramid Cabaret
Oct. 8 Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center