Codetta (a Musical Term): is a brief conclusion, a dominant–tonic cadence at the end of the exposition that may be repeated several times for emphasis.

It’s always a pleasure to have the privilege of getting my hands on one of Dorset’s most underrated singer/songwriter’s new album. Jinder’s last couple of albums Almanac For The Failing Days, and The Silver Age have shown the singer/songwriter is still in his prime and working with a long-time collaborator has previously reaped rich rewards. The new album is all set to be released on 2nd June on the “Din of Ecstasy” label.

Jinder explains “it’s a delight to be returning with new music. Three years between releases seems like an unusually long time, but I’ve not stopped working for a moment. The ten tracks here on Codetta were culled from a war chest of close to a hundred songs written since the summer of 2020; and whilst the temptation to put out new music earlier was certainly strong, I knew it was important to make the right record at the right time. That record is Codetta and that time is now”. The album’s unique artwork has been skilfully mastered by Jinder’s Wife.

The album is a wholeheartly Dorset made recording; which was created in Jinder’s own studio in Sherborne and the Allington West studio in Bridport, owned by Peter James Millson. Peter is a singer/songwriter in his own right having released a host of his own solo material and he also currently plays guitar for Alternative Indie band “Jody and the Jerms”.

On this record the talented Peter plays all the other instruments except drums and percussion, who are provided by Bordeaux based multi-instrumentalist Anton Henri at Studio Branlette de Licorne. The album’s mastering was provided by Mark Freegard who has a CV that is the envy of the music industry.

The album is lyrically inhabited by loners, losers and the dysfunctional souls on the outskirts of middle age, who are usually too far out on the fringes to get picked as a lead character. I guess Jinder includes himself in that category, but there is little in the way of first person narrative here. His is more interested in representing those who don’t often have their stories told. The quiet ones; the people who disappear into the silences during conversation, the breath between the words.

The general theme of the record is the analysis of self-sabotage, and the many ways in which that manifests. There is a whole cast of stalkers, thrill seekers, narcissists, ageing sex workers, social media trolls, blocked writers and cancelled celebrities here to have their stories told.

The album opens with “Arrows//Let’s Lightning”: quite a departure from what you would expect, a return to a sound more akin to his band playing days. It’s punchy and beautifully melodic with some fabulously infectious guitar hooks. The track is turned on its head after its initial first concept, it is Jinder making a statement that he’s not just a balladeer. “Watching it Come True” was given its birth from an old Kay twelve string acoustic guitar and features some of Peter’s spirited Hammond organ playing and drummer Anton Henri captures the sinister groove which fits the song’s dark lyrical theme. There are some unique styles of harmonies along with Jinder’s emotive commanding vocal style.

“Rose Green” is more of an 80’s Alt/Rock style number and at the stage of the release it’s currently the writer’s favourite track on the record. It’s certainly one of the most diverse tracks on the album, lyrically its pure ‘84 NYC street hassle’, although the writer’s tongue never strays far from his cheek. There is even some indulged outrageous Warren Zevon-style alliteration in the second verse, kicking in to life with some mellow acoustic guitar, coupled with some nice rhythmic accompaniment.

Jinder has shared that “A Gold Song” came from a vivid dream about playing pool with American Country/Folk singer-songwriter John Prine. It was not clear who won the game, but whatever; a new song was created with some powerful lyrics that provide some goose bump moments and some clever instrumentation. Recent single “A Simple Song” is a plea for a break from the relentless complexity of life; these days life is far too complex and we should appreciate the simple things in life. The song is a divinely orchestrated ballad that features some beautiful heartfelt lyrics with a whole lot of wishful thinking.

“Waiting for the Wind” was written about how impotent artists seem with their wannabe Rock Star clobber and fancy guitars during the times when the songs won’t come. Writer’s block is something that most artists suffer from, however in the case for this album there were a large amount of tracks written; over a hundred apparently, which eventually were whittled down to just these ten. A simple acoustic start when the vocal segues, along with melodic keys and some beatific harmonies. This piece has a real infectious quality and would easily suit mainstream radio play, quite possibly one of my favourites of this collection. The lyrics are also influenced maybe out of fear of “cancelled” artists such as Mark Kozelek and Ryan Adams, that curious sense of stasis and ennui that comes with writer’s block would be inescapable and all-pervading, potentially forever.

“Vermillion and Mitchell” are two towns in South Dakota, where Jinder’s American Indian ancestors hailed from, between which there is a vast expanse of uninhabited wilderness. The song uses that metaphor to express that sense of rootlessness, being stuck between stations and not being quite sure of what we are running to and what we are running from. There’s some early 80s Alt-Rock influence from material stuff like The Replacements, Echo & The Bunnymen, dBs, Posies and some early REM. It’s a song about regret and self-analysis, and how all too often we find ourselves in difficult situations but unable to bring about change. The track was released as a single earlier this year and the track has since been reworked for the album. Another track with a radio friendly quality and one that features a plethora of well created, different styles that sound most unique.

Have you ever been frustrated by those keyboard warriors who sit at home and push their feelings online and use their anonymity to take their own inadequacies out on others? “In Real Life” is a short and to the point song that addresses this contentious matter. It features subtle, straight-forward uncomplicated instrumentation that gives more emphasis on powerful to the point lyrics. It’s a track that I feel Billy Bragg could have easily written, it has his trademark in places.

The first song written for Codetta was “Isabel” and this number particularly shows off Peter James Millson’s fine production qualities. It’s undeniably a Pop song with simple, easy to pick up lyrics and the subject matter that all feline owners can relate too. It’s fresh, bubbly and the instrumentation reminds me a little of The Cranberries song “Dreams”. I’m sure in time it’s going to become a live favourite. “Isabel” was released as a single and Jinder’s wife Amy created a wonderful hand-drawn animation video for it; which can be seen below.

The final track on the album is an absolute masterpiece and one which shows wondrous alliance between Phil and Peter. Their teamwork on this is indeed something to behold. “The Body Burned Away//Last Moon” is about the strange duality of gratitude and guilt that Jinder felt after emerging from a lengthy period in hospital and finding out that the great American musician Jason Molina had passed away. He felt that it was unfair that he (Jason) was gone whilst he (Jinder) had survived his brush with mortality. The track’s title was a co-opted a title from one of Molina’s less well known songs and the song was written around those feelings that Molina himself may have appreciated. Starting off with some simplistic acoustic guitar the song meanders before the now trademark melancholic vocal sorrowfully and tenderly pays homage to Molina’s legacy with some formidable lyrical imagery. The track segues into a Suede-esque guitar part entitled the “Last Moon”, which beautifully brings us to the conclusion of this collection.

Track Listing
Arrows//Let’s Lightning
Watching It Come True
A Gold Song
Rose Green
A Simple Song
Waiting for the Wind
Between Vermillion and Mitchell
In Real Life
The Body Burned Away//Last Moon

Codetta features the singles “Between Vermillion & Mitchell”, “Isabel”, “A Simple Song” and “Waiting For The Wind”. Jinder – Codetta is released on 2nd June 2023 by Din of Ecstasy (cat no NP018).


Words by David Chinery (Chinners).