Friday, January 04, 2008

Jaymay - Autumn Fallin'


I had never heard of Jaymay before I saw her supporting Elvis Perkins back at the Luminaire in May. I had no expectations, so twenty minutes or so in the company of the New York singer-songwriter accompanied only by her acoustic guitar was an enjoyable, if unamazing time spent. I remember she had a good voice, and the songs seemed decent, even if I recall some lyrics being a bit twee.

Then nothing more until I heard that her debut album Autumn Fallin’ was being released on Heavenly Records at the tail end of last year. It eventually made its way to me via my one month gift membership of the Rough Trade Album Club (it was their album of the month for December). The thing with the Album Club is that if you don’t like their main choice, you can always exchange it for another of their top 10 picks. But even though it’s not an amazing album, I’m not quite ready to exchange it for Yeasayer.

It’s one of these records that are eminently likeable without ever really setting the pulses racing. There’s plenty folk-pop tunes to enjoy, though why Jamie Seerman (that’s her other name) and not countless other NYC coffee-house style singers isn’t entirely clear. Though for now it is her and I’m pleased enough about that. For a record by a singer-songwriter on a major label, it’s surprisingly not over-produced. Sure, it’s hardly Nina Nastastia, but there’s not too much getting in the way and the songs are left to stand up for themselves.

Seerman’s clearly a Dylan nut, and this can be clearly heard throughout the album, so much so that on You'd Rather Run, it’s just so Dylan it’s almost a pastiche. But despite this, and its running time of almost ten minutes, it neither seems misjudged nor outstays its welcome and it’s probably my favourite track on the album. The next track Hard to Say is a total change of tack, as she slips into pop-jazz showtune territory, complete with mimicked trumpet noises. If that sounds like a bit of a joke, then maybe it is. The problem with too many singer-songwriter albums is that they’re just a bit too po-faced. These two tracks make me think that maybe Jaymay has that little bit extra which sets her above the other East Village singers.

Download: Jaymay – You’d Rather Run
Download: Jaymay – Hard to Say

The bonus with the Album Club was getting an extra CD with 6 tracks not on the album, proving that Jaymay’s got more decent tunes up her sleeve. Here’s one of them.

Download: Jaymay – Corduroy

Buy Autumn Fallin’.

2 comments:

Bloodshed In The Woodshed said...

think i saw her supporting cherry ghost last summer. very good she was too.

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