Album: Everybody’s Getting Married
Release Date: September 25, 2020
Genre: Dream Pop
Everybody’s Getting Married is the first solo EP from Victoria-based artist, JAYA.
Overall, Everybody’s Getting Married is like a sepia-toned photo of an old friend: dreamy, intimate, optimistic, yet melancholic, with strong qualities of nostalgia. Usually paired with her band Wise Child, this is JAYA’s first attempt at a solo project and, as she says, “stepping away from my bandmates to discover what I sound like and what I am capable of on my own.”
To that end, JAYA is the sole songwriter on this project, which is probably what gives the EP its personal, intimate feel. JAYA’s press says that she has been singing since before she had front teeth. This shows in her voice which has a light, unhurried, naturalistic quality to it — as if singing maybe even more natural to JAYA than breathing. The EP builds its dreamy, drifting soundscapes primarily with the use of a swaying guitar, laid-back keyboard, and an airy chorus to support JAYA’s vocals. The tracks amble along with easygoing measures to invite the listener to listen to JAYA’s lyrics about love, regret, moving forward, taking risks.
A standout track on the EP for me was “Not Gonna Happen”. “Not Gonna Happen” as the title suggests, is a melancholic downbeat track about not waiting for something that won’t occur. As the lyrics assert “Life’s a bitch/Time’s a bit too slow to really do anything of importance.” The track undercuts it’s dark message and tone, though, with a cheeky keyboard refrain that has almost a video game feel to it. The track then shifts in its last few moments from its dower tone to resolve to build a house with their partner “and call it a day” — implying that even if life is a bitch, at least JAYA can give up on it with someone she cares about.
I grew up in Alberta, but spent most of my life in British Columbia – I also spent a lot of my summers in Britain as I was lucky enough to have immigrant parents with the capital to go visit our relatives. The amount of time I spent overseas makes it hard for me to say I feel fully Canadian, but it does make me feel typically Canadian as so many of us have mixed parentage. My parents defined another divide in me as I feel inexorably pulled to both science and the art; my father being a doctor and my mother being a school teacher. I studied both in university and now work on making healthcare software during the day, then write/read/draw/paint/dance in my evenings. My global wanderings, my education, and the fact that my appetite for media could be described as ‘voracious’ means my frame of reference is pretty varied. It’s hard to say that I have a favourite music genre, rather I am always seeking sounds that convey a sense earnestness an honesty.