By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
Jamie Lidell was in a period of laid-back bliss during the summer of 2009 when his friend Beck Hansen called. Seems Beck also had some down time, and was wondering if Jamie would be interested in spending some time in the studio to work on any songs he might have percolating.
"You really don't get a call like that every day," Lidell says. "I didn't spend too much time pondering the offer."
Their combined efforts—which also saw studio contributions from James Gadson, Feist, Chilly Gonzales and Pat Sansone, plus some production assistance from Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor—resulted in the May release of Compass, Lidell's fifth solo album. It's as genre-bending as should be expected from Lidell and his varied tastes, which range from seductive crooning to discordant modern jazz and toss in fun twists of electronics effects for good measure. But it's also a definite departure from the blue-eyed soul sound of Lidell's past releases.
"I am a bit of a musical schizophrenic," Lidell says. "On this record, I made a deliberate effort to avoid pandering to the expectations of myself, to critics and the audience."
For this tour, Lidell has a five-piece band backing him, including two drummers so as to help replicate the wild percussive moments of Compass.