The latest release from American Power Popper Jeremy Morris, who has The Posies Ken Stringfellow alongside to produce one of this year’s better releases.
Written by: Explorer
ALBUM: Distant Dream
LABEL: JAM Records
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Jeremy Morris – vocals, guitars * Ken Stringfellow – vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Alone Together * 02 The Story’s Ended * 03 Thirteen * 04 Everything To Me * 05 Distant Dream * 06 Forever By My Side * 07 Joy Comes In The Morning * 08 Just Like You Said * 09 Need Your Light * 10 Stay Positive * 11 Take Me Home * 12 You’re Amazing
Occasionally albums come to our notice in strange ways, and this album comes under that category. I recently ordered the excellent Dana Countryman album through JAM records in the US, and on receipt of said album I found included a ‘Bonus’ CD.
This Bonus CD turns out to be the latest album from, if I’m correct in thinking, the JAM records owner Jeremy Morris hence the JAM title. A cursory listen found an album of superb Power Pop, so as any self-respecting music fan would do, I had to look into Jeremy’s musical career a little further.
It seems he’s a busy man with not only running a record label but also issuing albums under his own name (10 I believe, if my maths is right) and also as a member of Power PoppersThe Lemon Clocks . So I’ve got a fair bit of backtracking to do in the coming weeks and months.
So with how I came to find out about Jeremy out of the way.. on to the music. This is a Power Pop delight, very reminiscent of the work of that other Power Pop Stalwart Ken Sharp, whose work is well known to regulars of this site.
On this album Jeremy is very ably assisted by The Posies, Ken Stringfellow, which immediately pricked up my ears. There’s twelve tracks to savour, all bar one being original tunes, the exception being a cover of the Big Star song ‘Thirteen’.
‘Alone Together’ is a Beatle-esque tune, with Jeremy doing his best Lennon impression, and sets out perfectly what follows. The likes of ‘The Story’s Ended’, ‘Everything To Me’ and ‘Just Like You Said’ all hit my Power Pop sweet spot, with a dreamy feel to them, and insanely catchy melodies.
The title track is a particular favourite and takes the listener on a wonderful journey, with the guitars achingly playing over a gorgeous melody and the plaintive vocals just giving the song that something extra.
Throughout the album, the influences are there for all to hear, but this record is far from being derivative in any way. Yes, I can hear echoes of The Byrds, The Beatles, Shoes, Big Star, but Jeremy has managed to create a Power Pop album for the 2020’s. Of course there’s the jangly guitars, close-knit harmonies, but what’s not to like eh?
‘You’re Amazing’ is the album closer and is in my opinion the album highlight, very simple in its execution but it’s that simplicity that makes the song so effective. The song. This album is all about the song.. maybe a forgotten art, but here in all its glory makes for a delicious listen.
I also notice that this record is a ‘message’ album, very positive in its outlook, not a Christian album as such but one that gives off a very uplifting vibe, something that wouldn’t go amiss these days! The production and playing, and in particular the arrangements are all on point, and leaves me just wanting to hear more.
Well, what a lovely surprise. This album is going to feature in my ‘best of’ list come year’s end, such is the quality here. Dreamy, melodic Power Pop at its finest.. simple really.
Distant Dream (Acoustic)
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