This ‘Jeremy Loops’ article was written by Hannah Parker, a GIGsoup contributor. Lead photo by Ben Brown
Trading Change sees this South African Paolo Nutini exploring his love for modern folk music. Jeremy Loops’ main aim is to inspire and motivate both himself and his listeners, and this album unequivocally does exactly that. The warmness of the music transports you to the glorious sun-soaked South Africa within the first few bars of this album and you then stay there for its entirely.
It is no less than real talent that allows Loops to combine all genres of music on Trading Change. Though he says his first love is folk, there are elements of hip-hop, reggae and gypsy-jazz within this compilation, which in turn, gives the album its authenticity.
Harmonicas, loop pedals and beatboxing, are all there. It appears at times that there is simply nothing this album does not showcase for a 21st century one man band. The execution of the aforementioned instrumentation is done in an almost nonchalant, cool manner that you can’t help but applaud. The album begins with a chorus of harmonious South African singers, followed by Loops distinctive voice. Between the upbeatness of the track and Loops harmonica playing, this song almost has you missing its message – that ‘Sinner’ is in fact a heartbreak song – Loops instead manages to inject the listener with his happy folksy ideal, that everything will be OK.
Loops says that he take influences from Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan and this is clear within Trading Change. However, his modern flare and ability to seamlessly include other genres stops Loops from becoming a out-and-out copy-cat. This is seen in ‘Down South’ which is a clear highlight of the album and the first single to be dropped by the South African singer. This textured track hears another choir of voices followed by Loops but this time he is able to provide a hip-hop vibe – a clever collaboration with the Cape Town rapper, Motheo Moleko. Somehow this new vibe compliments the soulful harmonica solos that feature, it shouldn’t work, but it does and provides another beautiful side to Loops sunny disposition.
As previously stated, Loops aim is to inspire and motivate. He does this in two ways: the first being his upbeat music that consumes the album as a whole. The second way is through his lyrics, that allow for rich imagery and give the listener the tools to find a connection with Loops.
Even when the pace is mellowed the mood of the album does not falter, but instead allows more powerful pieces to appear more raw. And that is a definite quality to Trading Change … its rawness. It’s very much a case of what you see is what you get with Loops, between his live performances and this album, there is no division, which is rare to find in a day of auto-tuning and remixes that fill the music industry. Although Loops mantra is to be ‘undefinable’ and ‘free from boundaries,’ he can definitely be defined as your late summer soundtrack.
‘Trading Change’ is out now on Yebo Music. The full track listing for ‘Trading Change’ is as follows…