2010 is going to be a busy year for Jeremy Jay. His first album of the year, Splash, is just being released, while there is another album slated for release later in the year, not to mention his work on the movie Belle Epine. Will all the work distract his natural knack for writing amazingly introspective pop numbers? By the sounds of this album, Jeremy is still going strong, and he shows no signs of slowing down.
JJ begins the album with “As You Look Over the City,” which one can assume is his own personal narrative about his recent move to London, demonstrating his ability to approach the subject matter from third-person. His guitar never seems over-bearing, and the accompaniment by his band always seems perfectly fitting to his deep croon.
While many will accuse Jeremy of staying in the same vein as his last two albums, there are definitely differences. Point of evidence one: “It Happened Before Our Time.” This is the first time he’s really messing with his vocal delivery, changing the pitch and the tone, both going a long way to evoke the mood of the song. When his voice lightly echos in the background of the song, you can tell that he’s really pushing the boundaries of what he can do. Then you have the second piece of evidence, ” Splash,” which has a quicker paced guitar line, sort of reminiscent of a more nostalgic version of The Thermals. All the while his voice lands quietly atop his music, as it always seems to do.
One of the best things about Jeremy Jay is that while he sounds so familiar, he definitely has a taste all his own. You can see his constant form of wondering, especially in the way that he writes his lyrics. Take, for example, “Someday Somewhere,” where the chorus itself evokes that sense of search, or that sense of longing for something. He’s often in his own world, dancing around, using that speak-sing approach that was made known by his mentor of sorts, Calvin Johnson. You combine that approach with his lyrics and you are left wondering, but in an involved sort of way, as listeners should be.
Everything about Splash really does sound familiar, but as the album takes a turn near the end, starting with “Why is This Feeling So Strong,” you get the feeling that Jeremy Jay is about to make his move; at times it almost feels as if he’s about to let loose a power chord to just blow you away, yet as always, he refrains. He’s got one more album coming out this year, and the way he’s pushing his sound, who knows exactly where that record will end up, but we can only hope that he continues to put out consistently enjoyable collections of songs such as this.
Download: Jeremy Jay – As You Look Over The City [MP3]