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JFH Indie Review

JFH Indie Music Spotlight Review

Amy Jay
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Amy Jay
Awake Sleeper

Album length: 10 tracks: 42 minutes, 55 seconds
Style: Indie / Folk
Street Date: February 11, 2022



Awake Sleeper, the debut album from indie folk artist Amy Jay, shows a vulnerability we don't often see in mainstream music. Jay uses these songs to open up about her doubts and insecurities, making the album feel like a musical journal rather than a random collection of songs.

"Lucid Dreaming" starts off with claustrophobic images: "Prism of light through the tunnel / infinite alleyways." To mirror the tunnel theme, the song begins with train sounds, which, according to Jay's bio, represents the subways she takes to and from New York on her daily commute. She then switches to other interesting images in the chorus: "Sunscreen and cigarettes / Smells like childhood / Birthdays, sunshine, silhouettes... backward innocence."

Although these references are purposefully vague, the idea of lost innocence and the guilt that comes with it, crops up throughout the album. Jay's chill, melancholy vocals, and the minimal instrumentation, help reinforce this theme. In "Reliance," for example, she compares trivial and important oversights: "Thought I made the bed this morning / When I got home, I realized I didn't / I forgot to say 'I love you' again / Careless like the sheets in the mess I left."

Jay uses other inventive metaphors in the song “Monster,” where she compares her anxieties to a passive-aggressive stalker. The track begins with the sound of a ticking clock to accompany the words, “Set another timer in my head. / If any thoughts vie for my attention, / I have a minute before they barge in.” The idea of hiding from her thoughts and fears connects the song’s two sections, which stand on their own like the movements in a classical piece. The piano-driven first section fades into some intriguing ambient synth sounds. The second section expands upon the first, making her fears more concrete by calling them a monster. This metaphor, though, isn’t all serious, as Jay quips, “I asked [the monster] to go away. / She respectfully declines.

Other than the pretty and heartfelt “Inner Critic,” the remaining songs on Awake Sleeper tend to get lost among the stronger ones. “Call My Name” might be catchy, but it’s overshadowed by the more memorable “Critic” and “Monster” that follow it. Although Amy Jay pulls off this chill, contemplative style well, it also comes with the downside of several songs blurring together. Still, in an era of shallow and disposable music, Jay’s willingness to be raw instead of commercial shows her integrity as a storyteller.

- Review date: 2/10/22, written by Andie Hardee of Jesusfreakhideout.com



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. Record Label: None
. Album length: 10 tracks: 42 minutes, 55 seconds
. Street Date: February 11, 2022
. Buy It: Apple Music

  1. Lucid Dreaming (4:16)
  2. Reliance (3:39)
  3. Commute (3:56)
  4. Call My Name (3:20)
  5. Inner Critic (4:23)
  6. Monster (5:44)
  7. Bide My Time (4:18)
  8. Sorrow (2:34)
  9. Remember (4:49)
  10. Self-Deprecation (6:00)

 

 

 

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