Jeremy Jay‘s sophomore album, Slow Dance, is an eerily entertaining listen to describe. Much like the album’s hazy pink cover, the aesthetic Jay’s orchestration drapes is that of a city near early morning. Bright lights casting haze through fog, tree limbs like veins contrasting with subdued purples and yellows. It is the dance track you find yourself moving to when the room starts spinning in slow motion, when nothing good will come from being awake, yet something interesting inevitably does.
Jay spends half of the album in comfortable places, channeling Bowie in his often pouting vocals (“We Were There”), the nostalgia of Jonathan Richman (“Will You Dance With Me”), the kitsch of The Cars and even a little Van Morrison (does “In This Lonely Town” sound like “Wild Night” to you, too?). There is also an odd creepiness about the whole thing, think Will Ferrell dressed as a little schoolgirl in the Zoolander brainwash sequence. It all makes for an enjoyable listen, if only for background pleasure, with “In This Lonely Town” probably taking the reigns as the best of the indescribably familiar sounding tracks.
Stepping into the oddities realm of songwriting seems to be where Jay shines most, at least on this album. With tracks like the dual equestrian theme of “Gallop” and “Canter Canter” stuck back-to-back, you’re taken on a quick journey through dales and hillsides on bareback. I don’t think there’s supposed to be an explanation, whereas “Winter Wonder” couldn’t be more literal in its joyful reminiscing about campfire-lit teardrops, shaved ice, making hot chocolate and ice-skating atop the simplest of chord progressions. It almost sounds like a child’s depiction of a strange Roy Rogers-ruled Wild West eternally covered in snowfall.
Two of the best tracks on Slow Dance press hard to defy genre. The album’s title track is like an 80s RnB cut, glammed up and fogged over, while the closer, “Where Could We Go Tonight?” keeps with the understated Bowie-glam theme, though taking time here and there to actually rip through a few quick and heavy guitar solos. Overall pretty entertaining in its strangeness, though the most interesting quality might be derived from trying to apply classification. Is there such a thing as minimalist-disco-glam? Or should we just call it Jeremy Jay?