Jeremy Jay debuted on the scene in 2007 with singles for Airwalker and We Were There. I snagged both of those at the time, and I really enjoyed them. His debut LP, A Place Where We Could Go, too, was impressive. He then released a few more LPs and a few more singles, and that leads us to his fourth album, Dream Diary. Born and raised in California, Dream Diary has that state’s sound — it’s sunny, but it irks to get away from the cookie cutter nature rampant in suburbia.
And Jay has done just that. He’s broken free from his Southern California upbringing and has transplanted himself in London. But it’s not necessarily blatant in his music.
Jay’s music has always had a lo-fi youthful spirit to it, one that hinted of a vast collection (and a good one at that) of LPs in the parent’s den. Dream Diary is no different. It has the same punchy guitar riffs hinting of decades gone that we found on his previous LPs. He backs them with atmospheric keyboard and synth melodies perfect for a summer cruise to the town’s “couples” hot spot. And Jeremy Jay continues to tease us with exhilarating, breathy vocals that hint of an audible orgasm.
“The Dream Diary Kids” rounds out the album with a memorable synth tribute, but I’d lean toward the combo of synth with guitar as being Jay’s best suit. Songs like “The Days of Casting Clouds Away” and “Caught In A Whirl” are highlights, emphasizing Jeremy’s deep voice but in a soothing, pleasant way. “Secret Sounds” and “In The Times” are also standout tracks, both utilizing Jay’s signature sound with seemingly simple guitar riffs and poetic lyrics have an off-kilter, odd sort of mysticism to them.
There’s plenty of color on this album, as there has always been in his music, but there’s something that elevates Dream Diary above what I’ve heard from him in the past. This is, without a doubt, his finest work yet.
Dream Diary comes out today on K Records. Above photo by Julien Bourgeois.
K Records [LP, 2011]
1. Out On The Highway
2. Caught In A Whirl
3. By The River’s Edge
4. Secret Sounds
5. In The Times
7. The Days Of Casting Clouds Away
8. It’s Just A Walk In The Park
9. Our Only Light’s A Flashlight
10. Whispers Of The Heart
11. The Dream Diary Kids
12. Wild Orchids
13. The Man On The Mountain