Sad Jeremy's storytelling skills shine throughout A Bad Movie.
Sad Jeremy’s January release, A Bad Movie, is filled with detailed storytelling that gives us a peek into the lives of many different people. Jeremy, of Sad Jeremy and the Dipshitz, throws influences from a wide variety of genres into this album. We hear songs that feature everything from bubbly, nostalgic keys to heavy acoustic guitars to fuzzy, garage-y basslines. However, the album is ultimately tied together by an overarching warm, personable vibe, likely as a result of the lo-fi 4-track cassette recording process.
The album begins with a bright, lighthearted tale guided by Jeremy's consistent guitar strumming. Keys dance behind their voice as they describe people they met at the movies, and how that minuscule interaction led to a carefree friendship between folks who found joy in simply “singing along to an old '90s pop hip hop song.” There are other tracks on A Bad Movie that follow along with this whimsical, eighties romcom-esque tone, including “Kissing Other People,” which is a folksy and wine-drenched anthem that tells of losing oneself in a relationship. “Will it Keep Me Alive” keeps the nostalgic VHS-era vibes going by starting off with a sick drum machine intro that would make Phil Collins proud. Groovy bass lines jump in, and the notes springing from the keyboard sound straight out of a video game soundtrack. On this track, Jeremy sings about struggling to find meaning in a society driven by current trends and blending in. “A docile customer is what I am,” they wail. The song “Chum” pushes the previously established boundaries of the retro feel-good vibes. An overwhelming commotion of bubbly instruments act as a metaphor for forced happiness in a state of chaos as Jeremy belts, “I don’t feel ok!!!!”
There are also songs on A Bad Movie that come off as closer to acoustic-powered indie rock, but they remain consistent with the passion and growl that make Jeremy's music so unique. “Art School” juxtaposes the two conventional types of guitar as the instruments and volume build throughout the song until you’re surrounded by a wall of noise, exhilarated by the huge contrast between the bouncy acoustic and the fuzzy overblown electric. Lyrically, Jeremy hits listeners with some very real criticism of pretentious groups of people. For example, a snobby New York boy in the song ignorantly asks a female art student, “Hey, where’s your family from?” There's also a large garage rock presence on this album, especially in the songs “Shadez,” “Dirttttt,” and “Timing.” “Shadez” oozes lo-fi ominousness with growling guitars and grim lyrics about arriving at the gates of hell and blood sucking insects. And “Dirttttt,” the most heart-wrenching song on the album, starts out soft, but ends with blown out guitars and Jeremy’s voice screaming, almost crying in the background, “My head always hurts.” Whether they're telling an uplifting story or working through anguish, Sad Jeremy can turn any emotion into a beautiful song.
Listen to Sad Jeremy on bandcamp.
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Brianna Peterson plays awkward pop punk country in a band called Cooper!, loves everything outdoors and Twin Peaks, and is painfully torn between being a dog or a cat person.