Published Mar 18, 2009In a way, it was hard not to feel a little let down by Jeremy Jay's A Place Where We Could Go. Sure, his debut LP had its moments but compared to the promise of this L.A. songwriter's early singles, it felt more like a stumble than a gallop out of the gates. Well, a year has passed and Jay is already back with Slow Dance. And, boy, what a difference a year makes. Put simply, Jay has made up for any past disappointments and then some on album number two, bringing back his romantic garage pop with more beauty, confidence and a welcome return of the synth. In fact, if Jay worshipped at the altar of '50s pop with his debut, he's now basking in the neon glow of the '80s, often sounding like Jonathan Richman lost in a new wave bar, or Honky Dory-era Bowie minus the paisley. In a sense, it's not far off from Jay's dub-driven, OMD-styled "Airwalker" single, but tighter, hookier and with meaner 'lude-loaded glam chops. Above all, Slow Dance makes good on any past bads and finally delivers on all that early promise.
Do you see this album as a big departure from your previous work?
I think, in retrospect, looking back ten or more years from now, it will all make sense. Actually, A Place Where We Could Go was recorded before Airwalker but was released six months later. The first LP is a sort of singer-songwriter introduction to Jeremy Jay as a person and Slow Dance has a more stage-type feel with a full band.
You called A Place Where We Could Go "a very conceptual record." Is that still the case with Slow Dance?
It's more themed than conceptual and slightly less lyric-based than the first LP, in the sense that it's more of an attitude than introspection. This is working music, something you can do live on the stage. It has the sense of urgency that you can only get with a live band.
How do you think romance or the concept of romance filters into your music?
I'm a romantic person, so naturally romance with a capitol R is in the music. (K)