Gary Jules – Trading Snakeoil For Wolftickets

Freak chart-topper proves he's no one-trick pony

Trending Now

By now you may be heartily weary of “Mad World”, the Tears For Fears cover sung by Gary Jules and lifted from the Donnie Darko soundtrack for a surprise Christmas Number One. But channel that weariness into relating to this: Jules is a Los Angeles singer-songwriter who merits the exposure, and his second album is gorgeously warm, forlorn and wounded.

Imagine Simon & Garfunkel’s “Kathy’s Song” or “America” refracted through a haze of smog and daydreams and you come close to the feel of this record. Moody as all hell, Jules growls Stipe-ishly with impeccable defeatist understatement, his lyrical technique bafflingly abstract and deeply emotive.

Yes, they’ve tagged “Mad World” onto the end, but tracks like “No Poetry” and “Something Else” are intangibly blue, elusive, bewildered but knowing: Nilsson or Art doing Jimmy Webb.

He’ll give you pale shelter.


Latest Issue

Nirvana, Paul McCartney, Amy Winehouse, Altın Gün, Sly Stone, Grateful Dead, The Jam, Will Sergeant, Rodney Crowell, Sparks, Rodrigo Amarante, Lump, Jakob Dylan and PJ Harvey


Dave Grohl looks back on Nevermind sessions: “Nobody thought Nirvana was going to be huge”

Thirty years after Nevermind transformed Nirvana from adolescent punks to global superstars, Dave Grohl tells us about the album's making, freezing cold rehearsal spaces, road trips with Kurt Cobain, and "Wilson Philips, Mariah Carey and fucking Bon Jovi"