Flipping through a journal-like “book” of lost love, personal experiences, and a varied span of relationships, Jeremy Jay started piecing together his eighth album. Composing each story around a cinematic scope, Jay unravels all the real, imagined, and imaginary on Devils Daughters (Switchblade Sound), out June 26.
A first glimpse into Devils Daughters, “Shoegazing at the Mall” is the perfect pensive close to the final scene of a film, however bleak or expected its resolution plays out. Confronting Jay’s own real-life devastation following the separation with a fiancé and thoughts of suicide, “Shoegazing at the Mall” is ultimately a story of overcoming, swelling around Jay’s intoxicating arrangement and stirring deliverance of sadness, anxieties, and reminisces of a love.
Following up Dangerous Boys in 2019, the waves of reflections throughout Devils Daughters are a result of a year in lockdown during the pandemic and other misanthrope moments. Based in London, which has remained mostly closed down due to the pandemic, the past year has had a significant affect on the California native.
“It’s all a bit surreal, and I’ve been extremely personally affected by lockdown as have many people I can imagine,” shares Jay. “Most of my friends just want to stay indoors and not see anyone. I’m quite the opposite, whereas, I have a need to see people and go out on walks in the park to stay mentally healthy.”
Focusing on music and writing, at his home studio, where he recorded his last three albums—Demons (2018), Dangerous Boys and now Devils Daughters—Jay, who has already scored tracks for the Rebecca Zlowtoski-helmed films Grand Central and Belle Épine, says he wants to explore transferring more of his visual concepts to screen and is also compiling a book of poetry, drawings, lyrics ( including those for Devils Daughters) for a later release.
Recorded during the summer of 2020, using vintage machines—an Oberheim Ob8 and DX drum machine, Korg Mono/Poly, and Emulator II—Jay crafted the sweeping piano and string arrangements throughout Devils Daughters, while experimenting with more improvisation in the each track, recording all his vocals in a stream of consciousness using the one take for each song.
“Musically, it’s a mix between Krzysztof Komeda, Eric Satie, and drum machines,” says Jay of Devils Daughters. “Komeda wrote one of my favorite soundtracks of all time which is ‘Rosemary’s Baby’—one of the most beautiful recordings I’ve ever heard. It’s so haunting.”