Worth the Drive: Jeremy Jay

Indie Rocker Celebrates Record Release at L.A.'s The Smell

Jeremy Jay
Larissa James

If The Smell wasn’t already cool enough, the art gallery serving up indie acts for a flat rate of $5 per show, tonight offers something special for those in the know: the record release party for Jeremy Jay‘s latest LP, Slow Dance.

Slow Dance – which sounds like the production and writing David Bowie did with/for T. Rex at some points, and almost doo wop-ish at others – is smartly arranged, completely fresh, and blissfully original. Each song plays like a dancing lullaby, whimsical enough to induce a dreamy sleep, but poppy enough to start a party. Jay’s EP, released at the start of 2008, Airwalker, is the same and yet different; the five-song EP featured two covers, including “Angels on the Balcony,” which Jay reconstructed with a modern vigor and sincerity that sounds little like Blondie‘s original.

“I’m a busy beaver,” he said of his understandably rigorous touring and recording schedule. “I think one year between records isn’t bad,” offered Jay, who is currently in Los Angeles for the release of Slow Dance before kicking off extensive U.S. and European tours. “I have festivals in May and through the summer, and then a European tour. And it’s all worth it,” he commented somewhat matter-of-factly. “I never questioned what I was doing, of course. I always knew. I think it’s an honesty and acceptance of yourself. I worked very hard coming up, and this is what I do for a trade – I’m a performing artist.”

Since his first tour (in April 2006) with fellow K Records artist Calvin Johnson, the ball has been rolling and Jay has been writing and recording like a mad man. “I recorded, in the past, in Olympia, Washington. This time I’m recording in [Los Angeles] in April, right before my Northeast American tour. I’ve recorded in Holland, though nothing was properly released from the Holland sessions, but that can be something for later,” he continued.

As for anyone already planning to make the drive to The Smell, or those who want to get in on the action before Jay blows up, expect to hear these songs sound as they do in their respective album forms. “Our records are all recorded live in the studio, so the songs sound the way they do on any of the records.”


Jeremy Jay plays The Smell (247 S. Main St.) in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 2 with Princeton and The Tartans. For more info, call (213) 625-4325 or visit thesmell.org.


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