> Album Review - Bourgeois Folkways By Jamie Scott - SNACK: Music, film, arts and culture magazine for Scotland

Album Review – Bourgeois Folkways By Jamie Scott

Honesty in hip hop is a rare thing. While the culture has come on substantially since the braggadocio-and-bling days, it can often feel like even the most backpack underground intellectuals are putting on a bit of front. Jamie Scott – formerly known as MC Almond Milk or as half of Conquering Animal Sound – has released this eight-track album under his government name for a reason:it is a straight-faced, matter-of-fact representation of the physical and mental place he finds himself in.

Literally, in the case of standout track ‘Hampden Terrace’, a kind of melancholy psychogeography of Prospecthill Road where Scott walks through the streets of his youth, turning over the past in his mind whilst acknowledging the worst thing that could happen would be to meet someone who was actually there.

He’s got a nice way with a visual lyric – something like ‘hefeweizen nights and we called ’em ice creams’ on the hook-filled opening track ‘Yuck Your Yum’ feels personal and real whilst having a sensory universality to it. On ‘Love and Hate’, a rumination on the journey of personal growth, ‘the essence of the past, I suppose it’d have to be not madeleine cake but Kraft cheesy pasta’ is a lovely bit of multisyllabic technical trickery, worthy of Aesop Rock but with a spoonful of truth that stops it feeling forced.

Jamie Scott – formerly known as MC Almond Milk or as half of Conquering Animal Sound

These songs feel lived in – Scott says that he began working on some of them twelve years ago – and they have a bit of weight to them because of that. Not that it’s all ponderous musing: the pop instincts he honed with Conquering Animal Sound are still sharp, and squelchy electronic hooks and catchy choruses are all over this. ‘Fuck Around and Find Out’ is a straight mosh-pit banger if you don’t listen too closely to the lyrics, which seem to hint that the ‘find out’ of that equation is maybe the sound of a second shoe falling.

It feels like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and realising that, you know, maybe that old tunnel had its moments.

Bourgeois Folkways is out now

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