Jonty Lovell is a Tottenham-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and creative mastermind behind the rising indie rock project common goldfish. As a musician, Lovell initially made a name for himself busking along the Hackney Wick and playing the London gig circuit. And as a producer and songwriter, under the moniker J Love, the Tottenham-based artist has been credited on songs that have received critical applause from media outlets like Mixtape Madness, New Wave Magazine, and GRM Daily.
With common goldfish, Lovell’s sound and approach is informed by the music of his childhood. “Growing up I was exposed to a lot of music, with my family all having quite different tastes. Deciding who had control of the CD player could often lead to arguments, but as the youngest child, I seem to remember rarely getting to choose. The soundtrack of my early childhood featured the likes of The Beatles, The Police, Moby, Blur, Gorillaz, and Eminem and Dr. Dre – it was quite an eclectic mix that lured me in.”
As a teenager, The xx‘s debut album further inspired Lovell. “I was by no means a great technical guitarist, and so I think this inspired confidence to continue writing music,” he explains. As a a university graduate, he began to take music seriously, honing his craft with an old laptop his friend gave him, which had Abelton on it. At this point of his life, Floating Points, Four Tet, Nightmares on Wax, and Caribou were influences on him and his sound and approach. Lovell then took his self-taught production style, eclectic music latests and finessed live instrumentation and his vocals.
Earlier this year, I wrote about Lovell’s common goldfish debut single, “Feel The Fuzz,” an upbeat, optimistic and decidedly late 80s-early 90s Manchester-like bop featuring fuzzy guitar lines, blown out breakbeats, a funky and propulsive bass line and common goldfish’s easygoing delivery paired with a euphoric boy-girl led hook and subtly modern production sheen. If you’re a child of the 80s and 90s as I am, “Feel The Fuzz” will bring back nostalgic memories of The Stone Roses, Primal Scream, Stereo MCs and the like, complete with an uplifting much-needed message to the listener.
“The track embodies the sense of dreamer’s optimism (‘the fuzz’) and the feeling that led me to change career paths and pursue my passion in music,” the creative mastermind behind common goldfish explains in press notes. “We only lead one life, ‘Feel the Fuzz’ is about helping people see that they should value their experiences over materials and not always seek the easy options in life.”
Building upon the growing buzz surrounding him, the Tottenham-based artist has played a series of public shows in iconic locations across London, including Tottenham’s DIY skate park and on top of a boat, floating down Regent’s Canal.
Lovell’s third and latest single, the expansive “I Don’t Feel Today” continues a remarkable and ongoing run of Brit Pop-inspired material with the song prominently featuring twinkling keys, blown out, skittering backbeats, relentless and propulsive bass line, squiggling guitar lines paired with the Tottenham-based artist’s knack for crafting infectious, feel good hooks. Unlike its immediate predecessors, “I Don’t Feel Today” sees Lovell making a very subtle nod to 60s psych pop with bursts of spacey organ.
Interestingly, the song is rooted astutely incisive social observation, with its narrator feeling lost, confused and dispirited by modern life“We are living more and more on top of each other but for some reason we’re becoming increasingly isolated from one another. The rise of independence and individualism has been at the expense of community and a sense of belonging,” Lovell explains in press notes. “With the pace of life getting faster and faster, we’re spending more and more time in front of screens on a never-ending quest for instant gratification. I do worry that we’re losing our sense of reality and what matters most – human interaction and connection.”