Jay Arner’s self-titled solo debut begins with a low bass groove that sounds like an engine idling, ready to rev “Midnight on South Granville” into high gear. To say the song never bolts away is no complaint, though, as the lyrics recount a night spent catching the bus, missing your stop, getting lost and wandering aimlessly. Set against that chugging bass line, those buzzy synths and that stoner guitar, half-drunk anomie has rarely sounded quite so epic. A Vancouver-based musician who has helmed albums by Mount Eerie, Apollo Ghosts and Rose Melberg, Arner recorded these new songs during lonely sessions at his practice space, recording straight to laptop to emphasize a DIY mid-fi sound, and the resulting Jay Arner mixes mopey postpunk instrumentation with power-pop song structures. Even though the unhurried tempos are far too laidback to sell the “power” in the pop, that spacey, narcotized vibe can be deceptive: The music reveals new sonic and lyrical details with each listen, whether it’s the M.C. Escher hook on “Broken Glass” or the world-weary cautions of “Nightclubs,” which finds a tricky balance between wry and romantic.
By Wondering Sound Staff on 07.22.13 in Collections
Every year, hardcore music fans wrestle with the same wonderful problem: There are too many records. Even if we listened to nothing but new records, non-stop, the numbers just don't add up; we're going to miss something,...
By Robert Ham on 02.25.15 in Features
From Shania Twain to Patrick Wolf, these musicians couldn't leave well enough alone and rerecorded their work.
By Marc Hogan on 12.22.14 in Features
On albums as events, changing listening habits and Lana Del Rey
By Jayson Greene on 12.11.14 in News
Slim Twig's rich, twisted art-rock dances with a leer between gorgeous and hideous. Like St. Vincent, the Toronto native has a quizzical approach to rock songs, and a seemingly irresistible urge to pull at their ends to...