Published Jun 17, 2016After journalists seized on a single aspect of the bio for his self-titled debut, the rap on Jay Arner was that he was "shy." But towards the end of his stellar, infectious new pop masterpiece, Arner is actually giving out the digits of his "Personal Line," and taking your calls. He wants to talk.
Arner's synthesized workouts and Neu!-esque grooves house some of the driest, most humorous and self-aware lyrics of any of his musical contemporaries. The Vancouver resident isn't afraid to present his life and work plainly, lamenting about the life of a touring musician and finding his place in the music landscape.
"Youth is a young man's game," he observes on a no-fuss but effective dispatch from the comical "Earth to Jay." With his partner and Energy Slime collaborator (and Retail Nightmares podcast host) Jessica Delisle appearing sporadically, as both a foil and the voice of what is ostensibly his conscience, Jay II has an endearing, knowing theatrical bent.
Who else could make such sweet sugar out of a chorus espousing that "There's a world of suffering," without sounding like a sad sack? Playing virtually every instrument himself and treating his double-tracked vocals with slight echo, Arner is a rare performer who turns ironic detachment into a warm welcome. Jay II is a mysterious, endlessly enjoyable collection of songs that reveal more and more with subsequent listens.
Of course, if you have any questions about it, you can always just call him up. (Mint)