Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Jay Brannan - some preview tracks from his upcoming album 'goddamned'

I have to admit that I have never heard of Jay Brannan before today. I receive a fair few PR e-mails each day and, to be brutally honest, most of it is dross, or at the very least badly targeted (how often have you seen me write about hip hop on this site??). This one, however, caught my eye...or rather my ear. Here is what the e-mail had to say:

"Jay has never released an album in the traditional sense, but has sold out shows in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Toronto, Tel Aviv and Vancouver. The New York Times has written stories about him, The Tripwire has sung his praises and his video for the song "Housewife" is going to a Paste video of the day.

He got his break performing his song "Soda Shop" in the John Cameron Mitchell movie Shortbus. "Soda Shop" ended up being the best selling song on the soundtrack (released on Team Love Records) and a video Jay recorded of himself performing the song in his bathroom ended up getting over one million plays on Youtube. He's continued to make more videos since then and they've racked up over three million plays to date.

Jay is going to be self-releasing his first full length, goddamned, on July 1st"

I can tell you, in addition to this, that Jay comes from New York, via California (although was born in Houston, Texas) and that most of his listed influences on MySpace are female...Lisa Loeb, Ani DiFranco, Liz Phair, Tori Amos and the like. This is no coincidence...his voice is one of the most feminine male singing voices I have heard in a long time; but, strangely, I do not mean that as any sort of insult (or I really wouldn't be posting the songs here). Call me a fag hag (can a gay woman be called a fag hag?), but I really like the tunes I was sent.

It would seem, from having a bit of a look at his blog and YouTube vids, that he is indeed a YouTube phenomenon, a la Lucy In LA, or the abominable Chris Crocker. With so much crap out there, it is refreshing to see someone singing original songs and in tune! The songs are gentle, emotional, acoustic affairs. The very lack of bells and whistles is extremely appealing and gives these folksy songs an air of honesty in keeping with his direct-to-audience YouTube videos and website bio (with a little poetic licence on the latter!). The lyrics can be touchingly mundane, about washing dishes and grilling turkey burgers, and showcase a tender sense of humour.

All in all, this is one I'll definitely be, I presume, will my gayboy friends, as he's certainly easy on the eye! Have a listen for yourselves and see what you think:

At First Sight - Jay Brannan

Housewife - Jay Brannan

Half-Boyfriend - Jay Brannan

Visit Jay's website, blog, MySpace and YouTube channel.

Pre-order goddamned here (N.B. Whilst the album is available digitally from 1st July, the actual physical CD will ship 15th July - self-released on his own label Great Depression Records).

Here are those videos:


Soda Shop


Anonymous said...

I absolutely, 100% cannot stand this dude's music or voice. I'm all for gay artists, but do they have to be so sickeningly girly?

Casey said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Jay Brannan. He is awesome and doesn't pretend to be something he isn't. It seems that if you kinda are talking out both sides of your mouth, Anonymous. If you say you are "all about gay artists" then turn around and criticize someone for being themselves (or "sickeningly girly" as you say).

There are a lot of gay artists who aren't "sickeningly girly". Look at Cazwell. Or better yet, look at the legendary Elton John, who may be a little on the feminine side, but you can't really see it in his music.

Music is about expression. Jay Brannan shouldn't have to mask who he is to express himself. He is awesome, and an inspiration to gays everywhere (me included), from super butch to super girly.

Thanks for posting the songs! Housewife is one of my favorites!

girlagenda said...

My lord. I adored the movie shortbus, got booted from netflix cause I refused to be without it long enough to order my own copy. I remember thinking he was the cutest twink I had ever seen... but now from the Housewife video I am flat out in love. Oooh, those little smiles between verses... I'll gladly be co-chair of your gay-woman-jay-lovin-fag-hag committee!

fernandoi said...

very nice tunes

a little gay but I don't mind


Divinyl said...

Wow! Thanks for the comments guys...and, of course, welcome to Ceci N'est Pas un Blog!

I think I should just let you have it out amongst yourselves. Lol. Obviously I like the songs, or else I wouldn't have written about them, but each to their own.

Girlagenda...I haven't actually seen would recommend it then eh?

Thank you all so much for taking the time to leave a comment...I get a lot of visitors, and so few do bother, so it is much appreciated.

I hope that you are able to find more music that you like here...and Anonymous, maybe there is something else for you if this is not your thing :o)

Kerri said...

I caught Jay Brannan live last year at the Mercury Lounge in NYC opening up for Jesse Lacey from Brand New . . . I don't think anyone in the place knew who he was, but he definitely won the crowd over quickly. These new songs are good stuff!

Divinyl said...

Glad you like :o)

Anonymous said...

Hey there, noticed you are a Jay Brannan fan, thought you would like to check out Pete Yorn’s original guitarist WAZ, who just released a new EP entitled, "The Secret" which debuted at number 13 on the iTunes Folk Charts.
Here the myspace link: