Jamie Bendell
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Jamie Bendell

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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Check out a snapshot interview I conducted with the beautiful Jamie Bendell (a singer/songwriter based here in New York) after the jump!

ROB BRAYL: If you could create a storyboard of all the things that inspire you musically, what would we see tacked onto the board

JAMIE BENDELL: Images of myself looking pensive and quite probably, worried; I don’t mean it in a depressing, sad way, but anxiety plays a huge hand in inspiring my lyrics. I think constantly and I worry constantly and a lot of my inspiration comes from situations in which I feel that someone took advantage of me or acted out of line, or if someone wrongs someone else. There would also be images of me at a regular open mic I attend at Caffe Vivaldi. There would probably be a couple of book covers tacked up, including Cradle to Cradle (by McDonough and Braungart), and a plot summary of the movie He’s Just Not That Into You.

RB: I understand the track ‘Chocolate Milk’ was created after a bad clubbing experience?

JB: ‘Chocolate Milk’ came about after spending a night out at a club with my friends. We were pretty close to my apartment and I was trying to make the best out of the situation, but I just couldn’t handle it. I like talking and listening, and although dancing is definitely fun once in a while, I just get so tired of what I perceive as a “let’s just drink and get wasted, don’t care to hear myself think or anyone else speak” mentality. I was actually standing by the bar, trying to put down a couple of lyrics in my phone to express the way I was feeling, but it wasn’t coming out. I left by myself to walk home, and stopped in CVS on the way. I picked up a bottle of chocolate milk, and when I got home and sat down at my computer, the song just came out.

RB: What’s your goal/vision for your music?

JB: I hope people find my music easy to relate to. I want them to hear my songs, and attribute their own meanings to the words. I’m always happy to share my inspirations for the music, but I don’t want people to lose sight of what the words mean to them. If the words even do evoke meaning. That would be a huge achievement; to make listeners feel something or relate to an idea that I put out as a song. I’m sure many artists say the same thing, but as a songwriter, I especially hope that happens.

RB: You have a super sweet innocence about your image and music. Has this always been the case? In terms of writing about the notion of love, etc?

JB: I think it’s fair to say that the innocent image and musical style has been present for most of my life. I never really had nicknames but the only one that I could say stuck somewhat was the nickname “Pure”. My best girl friends called and sometimes still call me that. I don’t even know why, and I don’t even know if they know why.

I don’t think I’ve ever been in love and I’m almost positive that my music and lyrics reflect that. I think there’s a naivete to what I write, and sometimes I get embarrassed that my writing doesn’t have all of the emotion of someone who has been through heartbreak, but I don’t want to rush anything.

RB: What’s the most repeated song right now on your iPod?

JB: I’ve been having trouble sleeping, so probably ‘You Can Close Your Eyes’ by James Taylor, the One Man Band version. It’s on repeat when I can’t sleep. That, or ‘King of Anything’ off Sara Bareilles’ new album ‘Kaleidoscope Heart’. I think it’s a tie.

Learn more about Jamie Bendell by clicking here.

Listen to an acoustic number by Bendell below.

White Light — Jamie Bendell (Acoustic Version) - http://www.biggerthanbeyonce.com


"I love the intro keys dripping with sweet somberness. They grab your heart strings instantly. Her voice is delicate and fits the vibe of the song." - AnR Girl Holly Hutchison


I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to a new singer/songwriter trying to break in to the New York scene. Jamie Bendell is a pop musician originally from New York who has just recently released a new EP, Something More.
Jamie describes her music as ‘melodic, catchy, thoughtful singer-songwriter pop music.’ She grew up in a household that incorporated music into most every part of the day, and credits artists such as Carole King, Sister Hazel, John Mayer, Chicago, Robyn, Fleetwood Mac, India Arie, Stevie Wonder, and James Taylor as influences.

I’m particularly fond of her song ‘Rescue Me,’ which is a great pop ballad that features a nice guitar/piano melody which really drives the refreshing ‘songwriter-feel.’ You can tell it’s a really honest expression from Jamie and is quite beautiful. It reminds me of something MTV might cue up to play on the Hills as some overly dramatic goodbye scene is taking place :p

Below I leave you with ‘Rescue Me’ and another song, ‘Chocolate Milk’ to get to know Jamie. If you like what you hear, make sure to check out her EP Something More on iTunes! Jamie also performs live shows in NYC so check out her website for details on where to check out her acoustic and full band sets! - http://www.popboi.wordpress.com


This is a bit of a change-up from the typical Jillboard rager-status. I do have a wide taste in music, especially when it comes to TALENT. I post a lot of crap on this site – it’s fun to dance to, but it’s crap. Jamie Bendell is a very talented upcoming NYC singer/songwriter that contacted me with her music, and I’m glad she did. Her style is slower-pop and Colbie Caillait-ish (spelling?). I say slower-pop because pop is so often associated with synthesizers and raging club beats nowadays, and people have begun to forget about the Michelle Branches, Jewels, and Sara Bareilleses (…spelling?). Jamie fits in this category with her crystal clear vocals, catchy acoustic guitar riffs, and meaningful lyrics. In her own words, she is “endearingly neurotic”. And this is my favorite part: she graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, then immediately drove up to NYC to pursue her music career without even searching for a job. Jamie – I like your style. Go get ‘em.

Check out more from Bendell on Myspace - http://jillboardtop100.wordpress.com/


I am playing catch up big time!! Jamie Bendell dropped in, well actually flew in from NYC two weeks ago to play live in the studio. Jamie has an amazingly expressive voice! When you listen to her sing the song and soul is laid bare. Her honesty and sincerity really comes across in her song writing. Check out the video on acousticsongslive YouTube channel and subscribe, friend me and share please. Good music is meant to share, acousticSongs “all natural, no additives or preservatives”. - http://acousticsongs.wordpress.com/


I got a couple of tracks from Jamie Bendell, a singer-songwriter from New York. Jamie certainly has an ear for melody and of the two tracks; “Rescue Me” and “Chocolate Milk” the second was very pleasing. A happy little song that would more-than-likely appeal to the Kate Nash fans. My only criticism, and it’s personal taste, would be the vibrato on every held note which to my ears grates a little. That said I’d certainly like to hear a wider selection of songs and investigate further.
http://www.myspace.com/jamiebendellmusic - http://popunderground.wordpress.com/


Jamie Bendell is a New York City artist with a wistful songwriter vibe that draws you in with a wavering vibrato in her voice. She makes the whole act of drinking "Chocolate Milk" a exercise in self reflection a la Ben Folds. "Rescue Me" is a compelling single as well, with a strong melody in the chorus. If you're looking for a more poppy version of Norah Jones, then Jamie Bendell isn't a bad place to start. - http://www.powerpopaholic.com


I was contacted a few days ago by a New York City-based musician named Jamie Bendell, a young pop singer/songwriter, about coming to see her live show at Pianos in SoHo. I always enjoy checking out new acts, especially when we share so much music in common (as well as age).

Jamie is an NYC-resident (like yours truly), who has decided to spend her post-grad life pursuing the ever-difficult unsigned artist career path, and her list of upcoming gigs is very impressive. She also has recorded two EPs, Waiting for Owls released back in January and _Something More_ a few weeks back in late July, both of which are available for your perusal at iTunes.

What originally caught my ear was Jamie's unique vocals -- she alternates a bit between quiet, breathy, more husky timbres before launching in to brighter, stronger, more melismatic riffs. She has a very clear, pure kind of voice, which really compliments her more melodic and simplified writing style.

In an age where pop music seems to correlate to the masses as Lady Gaga, Jamie brings to us a return to pop music's origin. Much of her material is just her and her guitar (although at the show the other night, she was supported by a full band, including an electric guitar, bass guitar and drumkit behind her), and she writes her own material. It's more along the lines of Jewel's Pieces of You album -- quietly thought-provoking, seemingly sweet on the surface with more meaning and feeling hidden underneath the surface. Her vocal style reminded me quite a bit of Sara Bareilles.

In addition to playing the NYC bar scene, Jamie also occasionally uploads poppy song covers onto her YouTube account. If you're looking for a place to start, I particularly enjoy her takes on The Script's "Breakeven" as well as a slowed down mash of Drake's "Successful" and Jason DeRulo's "Whatcha Say". There aren't too many new uploads available -- hopefully she'll return to the YouTube scene soon (perhaps with one of Bareilles' newer tunes?).

Her set at Pianos bar this past Thursday was also her birthday show, so I was honored to be able to see her perform on a night that clearly meant a lot to have family and friends present as well as supporters. I'm not quite sure how long she's been performing live professionally, but I do think stage presence is something every artist must work on, and Jamie's no different. All of the original songs she performed were quite strong, and with a promotional and marketing arm behind her, as well as some time to develop her artistic direction, Jamie could truly have her hands on something special. At times, she come across as a bit demure, something I know she's aware of as she describes her own sound as "sweet 'n' powerful" and "endearingly neurotic", something I indeed do adhere to. Overall, I find her very relatable -- as she's able to write about things she knows and flesh them out into something more symbolic.


I really like her stripped down vocal approach -- it takes away the distraction that lies in over-production and is a reminder that a good song is a good song, and a good vocal is a good vocal. This is particularly present in my favorite track, "Start of Something New" (listen here on her MySpace, listed as "Start of Enough"). Jamie also shows some variety in terms of instrumentation, as newer track "Rescue Me" (from _Something More_, see the cover to the right) highlights a tinkling piano backdrop while lamenting betrayal and loss. The spotlight is her soft-turning-strong-turning-soft-again voice that really makes me excited for her potential. Somethings you can't learn, you must be born with. As excited as I tend to get when it comes artists at the beginning of their careers, only a fair few can take their lump of clay and construct something truly amazing. I do think that Jamie is well on her way toward exactly this.

On the flip side, while much of her material undertakes a rather serious tone, her quiet speaking voice evokes a more quirky demeanor. When describing the aforementioned "Rescue Me", she stated it was inspired by someone hacking in to her e-mail account, and another song, "Chocolate Milk" (also available on her MySpace, along with "Rescue Me"), was written about her indifference toward New York's club culture.

It's clear Jamie is still in the beginning stages of her career and artistic journey, but for a beginner, she certainly has all of her moves planned out. For more on Jamie, check out her MySpace, friend her on Facebook, or check out her music through iTunes. Thank you so, so much to Jamie herself for pointing me in her direction and inviting me to her show. I can't wait to see what else she's cooking up, and to check in on her live again soon! - http://www.melismaticblog.com


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Jamie is an observer of everything she can set her senses on. She primarily lives and performs in New York City, fitting right in with the innate contradiction of the city; Where an over abundance of frenetic energy and people can feel both isolating and a welcoming.  She favors performing as part of a community, creating music with old and new friends. A frequent supporter of other folks' artistic endeavors in addition to her own, Jamie has the unique ability to approach her performances hoping that everyone involved, from the listeners, to the artists, to the venue, leaves feeling elated.  Living with feelings of constantly being over-caffeinated, and under-rested, Jamie's soft, strong voice soothes frayed nerves with lasting waves of melodic hooks.


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