The magic ingredients of iamamiwhoami are mystery, innocence, nature, nakedness, hooks, familiarity and indecipherable melody. There’s nothing so clever about iamamiwhoami that it cannot be called mere escapism. In Bounty, we saw Jonna Lee lying on toilet rolls looking like she’s having a shag (while singing), hanging out her washing naked, (obviously left it a bit late to put that wash on), coming out of yoni shaped hole in a tree, and then in Kin, dancing with yeti in a car park or dressed as clown dancing in a box.
This is all wrapped in the gift paper of ‘project’ or ‘episodes’. It’s good music to listen to if you want a bit of a break from reality. This album has M83 haunting it in places, like a little mischief. There’s an iamamiwhoami army of devotion wanting to decipher every video and track, and a bunch of electronic nerds trying to pause from wanking to break down the synth arpeggios.
It’s simple and basic, a naked collision of nostalgia from what they’ve already done ‘Tap Your Glass’ to staring at the sky, the sea, forests…but eventually it’s programmed music and performance to pull you in. There’s nothing natural or lacking in self consciousness going on here, it’s all carefully constructed performance and the only experiment is who and how the attention is held. I love it. It’s escapist pop music with the visual stimulation tricks that are used on toddlers to keep them watching Cbeebies; beautiful, simple and stimulating with lots of repetition.
If you want to really see iamamwhoami, go see them performing live. I love 'Chasing Kites', it reminds me of Mary Poppins and I love the typewriter tapping out the beat.
I think my favourite is Shadowshow, its formulaic seduction with a glitter body suit, the demons/aliens/mythical creatures of the forest, and Jonna on a rock about to drown them all. The idiots. On a backdrop of a good tune.
There’s super limited editions of this with carefully thought out ‘clump’ or you could just buy it the regular way. However you do, this is the way it’s going for music. And Jonna Lee realised this before many others had when she did ‘Bounty’. That is the clever part of all this.