Jiggley Jones’ ten song collection Not Your Typical Day Out reckons as a major new work from a singer/songwriter and musician whose songs are lauded as among the best fresh material circulating today. He’s followed his 2012 debut with recordings since then strong enough to solidify his claim as being one of the best songwriters working today. His writing has a number of extraordinary qualities eliciting praise from various outlets, but it’s his interpretative powers drawing much of the notice and for good reason. Jones has an uniquely expressive voice dynamic enough to cover a wide range of stylistic bases without ever sounding unmoored from its foundation. Moving strength to strength like this is rare for a recording artist and Jones makes it sound comparatively easy. Not Your Typical Day Out is far from your typical fare in modern music and harkens back to an earlier era when songwriters aimed for substance, above all else, as a matter of course.
The diversity on Jiggley Jones’ first full length effort is refreshing. Instead of opting to just stand pat and deliver strong lyrics in acoustic guitar dominated vehicles, Jiggley Jones fearlessly brings accordion, harmonica, brass, electric and acoustic guitar, and other strands together in a vivid tapestry of sound. “Danger Island” opens the album with a sort of surreal travelogue, but a careful listen to the lyrics will likely aid anyone looking to interpret what Jones is up to here. His voice, often heralded as an unique instrument, is truly that as he brings a sweet and soulful touch to anything he voices. There are some light strings deepening the melodic richness of “Wide Awake” and it makes the guitar work and vocals an even more satisfying listening experience. The alternate vocal tracks complementing Jones’ exert an effect on the song allowing Jones to more effectively dramatize the lyric. A decidedly idiosyncratic side to Jones’ musical character emerges with the song “Vibrant” and itspractically tuba like bass line coupled with a loose-limbed country/folk acoustic guitar jangle. There’s some flashes of well played harmonica and his singing is slightly reminiscent of Tom Petty with this tune.
“That Pearl” is another signature track illustrating how his creativity with traditional forms marks him as an unique figure on the Americana scene. Rather than pinning butterflies under glass, Jiggley Jones clearly understand that these classic tropes require, at minimum, a new coat of paint to remain viable for future generations. “Gray” is much more standardized apart from some light atmospherics and the assortment of different voices making their presence felt in the song, led by Jones’ main vocal, makes it a more resonate listening experience. The last song “Rain” is, arguably, one of the finest moments on Not Your Typical Day Out thanks to the nuance and lightly handled theatricality surrounding the performance. It’s a perfect ending for the album and leaves you wondering what new musical turns the future may hold from Jones when he can seemingly do whatever he likes and make it work well.