Release Date: Mar 24, 2009
Record label: K
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Pop
Whenever some idiot convinced you that stuff like crushes and holding hands was dumb, that what you should really care about is getting action, that's when you became an adult and started dying. I think I'm paraphrasing fellow music critic Chuck Eddy here. Remember your first slow dances, seventh or eight grade? For me there was a lot of nervous excitement, plus whatever you call the emotion when you're a clumsy preteen dancing to "The End of the Road" with the girl you like, or "I Swear" with the girl who likes you.
Slow Dance is a state of mind for Jeremy Jay, filled with possibilities and above all, dreams. Here, Jay offers a different kind of dream world than he did on his charming debut A Place Where We Could Go; though these songs are often steeped in glamour and loneliness, they also celebrate the joyful power of dancing and fantasies. Fittingly, the album's sound is more beat-driven and electronic; instead of A Place's soft-focus float, Slow Dance offers spun-sugar synth pop and darkly jangly rock.
It’s somehow apropos that Jeremy Jay has released his third record directly after the spring equinox. Slow Dance is a stylized musical take on winter, with the spacey emphasis sounding more like the memory of it than the actual season itself. There’s a chill here, but also the hint of flowers about to burst from the ground. Jeremy Jay is a man out of step.
Disco has spent decades as the black sheep of popular music, much maligned by guitar snobs everywhere, far past being acceptable, but recently it has become cool to rep Thelma Houston and Andrea True. Even the Yeah Yeah Yeahs openly admitted to having Giorgio Moroder in mind when they penned their new album. It's difficult to believe that this revival isn't partially owed to the fact that as technology and technique have improved over the years -- it's a lot easier to produce heavily synthesized tracks than it was two or three decades ago.
Jeremy Jay is the kind of determinedly un-modern guy who probably carries a pocket watch and views old French movies exclusively. He has a boyish imagination and sings semi-embarrassing lyrics like "giddy-up, horsey, giddy-up" over fantastical romance tunes. If that sounds nauseatingly precious to you, then, like me, you'll be pleasantly surprised by Slow Dance, his third release.
Slow Dance is a dream pop record. Not in the common sense of the term which signifies ethereal and blurry bliss outs by bands like Cocteau Twins and other 4ADers, but in the sense that it is music that evokes dreams, myths, and fantasies directly through its singer’s words and affectations. Its music is steeped in rebellious pop music traditions of the 50’s (R&B), 60’s (garage rock), 70’s (punk) and 80’s (new wave), but its characters all aim for the skies found in our hearts and minds.