At this point, the well-documented mass exodus of members from local indie rock act MyNameIsJohnMichael has, in many ways, become the principal narrative of the band. With no bona fide new music since 2008, the story of the NMIJM’s disintegration has arguably begun to even obscure the notoriety of the largely successful 52-track songwriting experiment that bore their debut album The People That Come and Go.
However, that is sure to change since the release of “Orphan”, the first track off their yet-to-be-titled sophomore album. After indefinitely shelving the first attempt at a follow-up last year, central member John Michael Rouchell set out to reinvent his act with the help of producer Raymond Richards – who oversaw the collaborative recording sessions that resulted in Local Natives‘ breakthrough debut, Gorilla Manor – and a loose conglomeration of local instrumental talent.
If this single is any indication, MNIJM’s new album is set to be as compelling as it is spontaneous: the indie pop sensibilities from Rouchell’s previous work are set against a thumping, metronomic bassline and extemporaneous arrangements of jubilant horns and bouncy, thin keys. The result is a strangely uplifting New Orleanean take on personal solitude and geographic nomadism, jazzy and breezy in all the right places.