With his debut album Vintage, released on Oct. 1, 24-year-old Jeremy Shada is paying tribute to love and romance in the modern age.
“Vintage is really something special not only because it’s my debut album but because of the overarching theme,” Shada says. “When you listen to Vintage track-by-track and hear how each song connects, an even larger story evolves. We see a man in desperate search for love—something I think is so relatable for listeners. There are ups and downs, heartache, and heartbreak but in the end there is a love that is found and lasts a lifetime. Throughout this journey it’s evident that life isn’t worth living unless it’s with someone you love. Get ready for some catchy bops!”
Through 12 tracks, produced by Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount, Shada tries his hand at fusing pop music’s greatest eras— from the crooners of the ‘20s to the funk lines of the ‘70s through present day—with a favorable outcome.
In his own words, the Emmy and MTV Award-winning actor and musician takes American Songwriter through his new album, Vintage, track by track.
“Back In Fashion”
“Back In Fashion” was created to set the tone sonically for the entirety of the album. I wanted to touch on every sound you will hear throughout your journey listening to ‘Vintage’ with this opening track. Even within the lyrics we go through a variety of decades. “Let’s bring ‘60s back in fashion… ‘50s glamour… ‘60s, ‘70s funk and jazz… ‘20s are roaring again” etc.! It really is a love letter to the best eras of pop music. It brings the time-honored sounds and themes from golden ages of music into this modern era.
“Pretty Little Lies”
“Pretty Little Lies” is a peek behind modern culture’s “perfect on the outside” facade told through a specific couple’s relationship crashing and burning. Honestly, my inspiration behind this song stemmed from the reality of toxic Hollywood relationships. The couple knows they’re picture perfect but ultimately they’re tearing each other apart behind closed doors. One of my favorite lines in this song has to be “it’s like I’m an actor in a really bad movie and you’re a singer who can’t survive without autotune.” As much as this is a bop, I really hope people listen to the lyrics and realize the trends of modern culture.
“Singing In The Rain”
“Singing In The Rain” might be one of the most depressing tracks on the album if I’m being honest. It’s a tragic story of heartbreak. It’s about coming back to your first love and realizing they’ve moved on. Our main character in Vintage realizes that he’s not the Prince Charming the other person was waiting for. The musical dynamics are so interesting in this song because it’s actually played in a Major key. In the introduction of the song we hear this upbeat piano tune and immediately the lyrics of the song contradict the happiness we were supposed to hear with that type of melody.
“If Looks Could Kill”
I am a huge James Bond fan and I really wanted to create something that could feel like it fits in with those films. The theme of this song is about a person hitting an emotional rock bottom and falling prey to a momentary pleasure that will end in heartbreak and regret.
“This Ain’t It”
The funky bass line really makes this song such a bop but when you dive into the lyrics of this track it goes pretty deep. “This Ain’t It” is about realizing the relationship you’re in is toxic, mentally abusive, and only about a physical connection. You know it’s not love, yet you feel like you’re already in too deep.
“Dancing With Strangers”
“Dancing With Strangers” is such a cool inward glance into our main character because we see a change of heart in wanting something more out of love and life. It’s evident that there is a longing for something more than partying and hookup culture. We see this craving for a traditional romance and there is this realization that you need to become a better person in order to find a long term love worth having. The infectious guitar solo right after the bridge of the song really makes this song feel straight out of the 80s. I love it!!
This song celebrates a return to a classic style. The woman that is being sung about is beyond reproach. Every guy in the club has their eyes on her. She’s not going to settle for random guys trying to get lucky though, she’s only interested in a true gentleman. There are some fun little easter eggs in this song about my wife, Carolynn. One of my favorite lines is “darling you’re a Cabernet girl and they’re talking Malbec.”
“Bewitched” is about the first date with the person you’re going to spend your life with. It’s glamourized with a timeless feel and homages to my favorite Sinatra songs. This song highlights the honeymoon stage of a relationship. You have butterflies in your stomach and everything feels too good to be true. I feel like the theme of the entire album is plainly seen in this song. One of the chorus lines reads “I’ve never met anybody else likе this ’cause they’re all modеrn but baby you’re a vintage hit.”
This is definitely a vibey chill bop kinda song and I feel like the tone is so fitting considering the story of this song. It’s about that feeling of relief knowing you’re experiencing real love for the first time and seeing your partner through rose colored glasses. “Here’s looking at you kid” is a line straight out of the film Casablanca and I felt like the title of the song “Humphrey Bogart” was, therefore, very fitting.
“This Feels Right”
The title of this song sets the stage for this lighthearted, upbeat song. How do you know you’re with the right person? Through the ups and downs you grow more and more in love with each other and you know there’s no way anyone else could love you the way they do. “This Feels Right” is supposed to put a smile on your face when you listen to it!
Find a love that is just as much fun when you’re bored at home as it is when you’re going on crazy adventures. “Bored Together” is dedicated to my wife, Carolynn, and our day to day shenanigans at home. This showcases the kind of healthy relationship that just being together is more than enough.
“Talking To A Memory (ft. Megan Nicole)”
This has to be the tear-jerker track on the album. There has been so much loss in the world and within my family lately that this song is a bit difficult for me to listen to at times. The theme of this song is longing to be with a loved one who has passed away. Even though they’re gone, you still have the memories you shared with them, and the knowledge that you’ll see them again one day. This is the only song that has a collab on it. My friend, and co-star on Julie and The Phantoms, Charlie Gillespie, helped write this song. Also, my other friend, Megan Nicole was the perfect person to duet with on this song. She is such a talented individual and she really made my vision come to life!
Photos by Bernardo Noguiera