Hugs and Kisses 55: Jeremy Jay


Another week, another episode of Hugs and Kisses from British journal keeper Mr. Everett True, Plan B editor at large who’s recently relocated to Australia and already managed to piss off all the locals so furiously that it made the news. Send him your impassioned Silverchair defenses at [email protected] — The SOTC complaint box

Hugs and Kisses

The Relocated Outbursts of Everett True

This week: I’m in love with rock’n’roll music

According to his K Records profile, Jeremy Jay is blonde and handsome and wants a cat for his apartment. He lives in Angel Town, next to Larchmont — and likes to drive around with the moon roof open. He sings like he’s stuck within the Art Deco-era storybook romance of French New Wave cinema, and has a Fifties Rock’n’Roll sensibility. He likes Buddy Holly and Richie Valens.

I don’t know about that.

I do know that he likes to layer his voice in reams of echo. I do know he reminds me — above all else — of great forgotten early Eighties British singer Ziro Baby (of cult teen sensations The Tronics). I do know he likes fuzz and romance and the odd touch of percussion. I do know he sings like a man stuck within a dream of a past that never existed, not even in the storybooks. I do know that if he rode a motorcycle he would ride it like Marianne Faithfull. I do know that, some of the time, he sounds locked within a lonely room some of the time, A Man Apart. That he reminds me of my main London crush Mathew Sawyer, and that he quite possibly favours tequila alongside the wicker baskets and speed buggies at picnics. That he sings winsome and inquisitive and welcoming like Jonathan Richman about to be mowed down in There’s Something About Mary. That to hear his voice and surf guitar and echo-laden resonance on his debut album A Place Where We Could Go is like a breath of fresh air in this weird Queensland town where the locals seem to get upset over the slightest thing.

His MySpace page shows someone who looks a little like Brian Jones, when Brian Jones looked like someone. I don’t know about that, but I do know that his song “Where The City Sleeps” snaps its fingers and struts like an early torpid Go-Betweens number, and references street lights and old apartment buildings, and throws in the odd shred of noise to keep us on our toes. And I do know that Jeremy Jay is someone I would’ve loved to have discover, no matter what age I was, but that to discover him now feels particularly sweet — now we have ice cream vans still chiming their wares down our forest cul de sac, now when the winter sunshine never ends, now when the memory of The Easybeats still keeps the newer breed of chart Aussie acts at bay.

The man sings about rooftops and street lights over the odd roll of cardboard box drums and Fifties guitar croon, and looks like the sort of fellow you’d cross over the street just to congratulate for being alive. The man sings about summer waltzes and soliloquises in the shadows.

Hugs And Kisses Top 5

I have 74,748 songs on my iTunes. Which ones will play today?

1. “Funk Gripsta,” Ice-T (from Home Invasion)
I could never take him seriously after that whole metal farrago. But this sounds pure Beastie Boys.

2. “Tell Me,” The Termites (from Girls In The Garage Vol 1)
Wonderfully, the crackles and hiss are still audible on this prime slice of post-Shangri-La’s Sixties femme pop. You’re still probably better off skipping a few songs to The Whyte Boots’ timeless “Nightmare”, though.

3. “Within You Without You”/“Tomorrow Never Knows,” The Beatles (from Love)
What a major disappointment this ‘new’ Beatles mix album turned out to be, right kids? Not exactly groundbreaking.

4. “José,” Lee Hazelwood (from Lee Hazelwood And Friends)
This Spaghetti Western-esque slice of sub Johnny Cash country would be absolute rubbish except… it’s Lee. Oh Lee. I still miss you.

5. “The Greed,” Schwaß (from The Schwaß Family System)
I’m thinking No Age, The Go! Team… but nothing like.