Tony Jay

Tony Jay offers up another cotton-toned transmission out of the SF underground. Along with a growing cadre of contemporaries — Cindy, Flowertown, April Magazine — Michael Ramos has been offering up a pillowy plume of indie pop that’s shrouded but never shy about its commitment to comfort. Under a thick velum of tape hiss and tenderness, the record expands the legend of Tony Jay. Ramos adopts a kind of Black Metal Joey Ramone persona, but leans away from the pricklier sides of the pop spectrum in favor of something more spare and serene. From the dream-draped strums of “Isolated Visions” to the partly sunny sanctuary of “Just My Charm,” the record revels in isolation and sequestered moments. There are quite a few records that have cropped up in the past few years that deal with isolation, but Tony Jay seems steeped in the idea of loneliness, something imprinted into the core of Ramos’ life.

Tony Jay and it’s orbiting bodies in San Francisco find their way through the haze handed down from Galaxie 500, Bedhead, and Low. The urge to crawl under the blankets and burrow until the clouds and rain relent is strong with this one. It’s a record built for burnout, something to soothe and console, but its not dour. The record is stripped and solitary, but there’s hope beneath the blanketed blur of Perfect Worlds. That ember of hope fills the listener, sloughing off the hurt and hunger of the outside world. If you’re not watching this corner of SF bloom into a new wellspring of slowcore, then its about time to start paying attention.

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