Despite self-releasing music for over a decade, only in the last period, we were finally aware of the ‘beautifully eerie lo-fi pop’ project of the enigmatic San Francisco artist Mike Ramos AKA Tony Jay, thanks, above all, to the increasingly rich and precious catalogue of Bay Area DIY imprint Paisley Shirt Records, responsible for the realization of his last year’s “A Wave In The Dark” album and the latest captivating “Hey There Flower”, not to forget the no less enticing Tony’s collaborative endeavour, Flowertown, with Karina Gill from another label’s favorite, Cindy, with two cassette EPs under their belt so far.
And it is precisely the cosy video, directed by Karina Gill herself, for the title track from Tony‘s recent full-length, WL//WH is very pleased to premiere.
Recorded in solitary isolation like the whole LP, but without guest vocals that distinguish half of it, “Hey There Flower” is introduced by thudding snare beats eliciting reverb-stained tattered noisy guitar scrapes, to weave abrasive shimmery emotive vibrations, imbued with shattered nostalgic dreams, lit by brittle yet dazzling forsaken keyboard flows, over submerged and distorted male vocal’s whispery deluge of obsessive longing, lonely melancholy, and dark desire to exude a hazy gritty concoction of awkward sadness and brooding unrest.
The intimate visuals, by Karina Gill, extract a simple snapshot of the day in the life of Tony Jay. An up-close look at make-up clad TJ on a meandering Summer walk through the hilly streets of San Francisco twists and turns amid sprawling, palm-lined panoramic views, vintage, urban architectures, and a multi-dimensional car wash, where quirky shots of beer cans and roses, an up-hill softball toss, and a romantic rendezvous with a pink-haired beauty light the mind’s eye of imagination with delight.
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