I meant to ask London resident Jeremy Jay why he picked Portland as the first stop on the 2012 tour to promote his new album, Dream Diary. It might have been because he lived here for three and half years (a long time ago), or because of his love for Dots Café or House of Vintage…the list goes on. Regardless, it was Holocene’s pleasure to host him Thursday night, along with openers Ghost Animal and Seapony.
A mixed crowd listened somewhat cautiously to Jeremy coyly play his strings on his noble guitar and sing his way through a good hour of show. His presentation was minimal: a bassist, his girlfriend on keyboard every so often, and him, in his button down under a v-neck sweater, dress slacks and Bieber-esque hair. As a self-described “quiet” person, his dreamy voice about dream-like love and other nostalgic moments (“whisper/ whisper/ talk to me/ close your eyes/ and tell me something/ something”) accompanied by clean guitar work had just enough energy to get 1/8 of the crowd into a dancing frenzy. The rest of us swayed, mesmerized, and I remember declaring out loud that that I was going to sleep so good that night, his music having the same effect as a steady summer night rain.
The calming, longing, feel good, relaxing mood that his music brings on should never be confused with boring. However, it does leave the critical listener percolating what new elements he might conjure up for his next album. My suggestion to him was an album in French, as he is fluent. That idea received a quick, “no,” but who knows? Maybe he’ll throw some on the next recording session. Either way his current indie pop formula of melodramatic lyrics and sensible instrumentation will bring current fans out for this tour and no doubt create new ones.
Words by Kelly Kovl. Photos by Ryan Dornfeld.