Boy Golden 
For Jimmy 

Six Shooter • 2023

For Jimmy is a trip, but not one that requires you to get out of your head to let it in.

You don’t have to get high to appreciate the lofty cosmic ether conjured by Boy Golden’s For Jimmy. But it helps if you’re willing to suspend expectations about how country- and folk-adjacent music should sound and feel and open to going where Winnipeg singer-songwriter Liam Duncan’s cowboy hat-wearing alter ego aims to take you. As the EP’s closing track, “Out On The Weekend,” indicates, your destination is “Going off the deep end / Getting the spins / Keeping the faith like / It’s ours to defend.”

For Jimmy isn’t music; it’s a vibe. Thoughtful, raw, breezy, and blissed out, Boy Golden’s adherence to traditional country and folk tropes only goes as far as the first toke of the day takes him; after that, all bets are off. In a recent interview with the Globe and Mail, Duncan discusses where he ends and the persona of Boy Golden begins, which is an inflection point that’s not so easily defined. You can’t deny there’s a feeling that Duncan is using Boy Golden as a smokescreen obscuring any autobiographical connections. The fog and buzz are just enough to heighten stories of escaping from who he was and where he’s from on the infectiously rowdy opener, “Mountain Road,” or lamenting for an already lost pal on “Whatever Got Lost,” and give them a theatrical and exaggerated feel.

And yet, everything about For Jimmy feels wholly rooted in reality and the minutiae of everyday moments. Boy Golden may be a character, but he’s not just a character if that makes any sense. He’s comfortable being front and centre on some songs (“Blue Hills”) and settling into an observer and narrator on others (“Aging Mr. Riley”) just as he’s cozy mixing his meds and sampling from a musical milieu of classic country, psych-folk, alt-rock, and sprinkles of bluegrass and blues. For Jimmy is a trip, but not one that requires you to get out of your head to let it in. Use responsibility; use often.

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