British singer and songwriter Jamie N Commons combines a Tom Waits-like raspy street-corner voice with a dark and haunted vision of the world à la Nick Cave, and at his best, he delivers a kind of modern gothic, 21st century version of the blues.
Born in Bristol, England, Commons was relocated to Chicago with his family at the age of six, and for the next eight years he was immersed in the city where the Chicago blues was born, and the music became his lifelong passion. He returned to England's West Country six years later at the age of 16, taking with him a clear sense of the blues and its role in the mythic allure of the American South, not to mention an Americanized accent. Commons learned how to play the guitar and then moved to London to study music at Goldsmiths in New Cross, emerging in his twenties with a hoarse, gravel-laced voice that belied his years and a dark, Southern swamp gospel vision of songwriting. He quickly attracted critical attention, and released a debut EP, The Baron, on Luv Luv Luv Records in 2011 when he was only 22 years old. Early in 2013, he returned with a second EP, the Alex da Kid-produced Rumble and Sway. 2014 saw the release of a new single, "Karma," which went on to become the official theme song for the immensely popular Electronic Arts-issued video game Battlefield Hardline, and in 2015, Commons released another single, the propulsive "Marathon," in anticipation of his debut long player, which was set to drop in early 2016. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi