Tony Jay - Perfect Worlds LP (opaque white vinyl)
Tony Jay - Perfect Worlds LP (Slumberland/USA)
Recorded entirely in 2021, "Perfect Worlds," the newest album by San Francisco's mysterious lo-fi pop legend Tony Jay, delivers an intimate record of thirteen dreamy, assured arrangements. Fresh off the heels of "Hey There Flower," "Perfect Worlds" marks Tony Jay's first album with Slumberland Records and further cements Tony Jay's status as dejected crooner of the quotidian par excellence. Drawing inspiration from failed relationships, lack of sleep, a bicycle injury, and depression, Tony Jay pairs catchy melodies and hushed vocals with ethereal instrumental tracks.
Headed by Michael Ramos, the former drummer of April Magazine, and current member of Flowertown, Al Harper, and Sad Eyed Beatniks, Tony Jay began recording in 2006 and added a live band in 2017. "Perfect Worlds," recorded in Ramos's bedroom and mastered by Mikey Young, features Kelsey Faber, Alexis Harper, and Cameron Baker, with guest vocals by Karina Gill (Cindy, Flowertown, Sad Eyed Beatniks).
Studded with instant classics, Tony Jay's new album encapsulates the isolation and loneliness of the past few years. "In a perfect world I'd find a place down in the basement," begins the title track, and the refrain repeats, "You just can't escape it." Interspersed with otherworldly instrumental tracks that call to mind a machine struggling to work underwater and whale mating calls combined with droning synth, horns, chimes, this album also provides space for listeners to make new worlds of their own. Our times may be inescapable, but we're fortunate to be able to wall ourselves in with fantasies of our own creation alongside "Perfect Worlds."