Jayda G – (Limited Edition on recycled colour vinyl))


Jayda G’s second album is built around a series of interview clips her sister recorded with their father, William Richard Guy, shortly before his passing, when Jayda was ten years old. The album’s songs are directly based on stories from the interviews and Guy’s journals, as well as Jayda’s thoughts and emotions while she was going through all of the archival material and researching her father’s life. Musically, this is the most straightforward, hook-heavy dance-pop Jayda has made, sounding much more fit for the radio than her previous club-friendly releases — not an unexpected direction from an artist who remixed Dua Lipa and Taylor Swift after her debut album appeared in 2019. While the songs often have cheerful and empowering choruses, the lyrics dig deeper into Jayda’s father’s stories and her reactions to them. “Blue Lights” is an escapist dance track that’s actually about Guy’s experience getting caught up in the riots in Washington, D.C. following Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s assassination. The chorus of “Heads or Tails” (beginning with the line “Hold it, toke it, pass it around”) suggests a sort of care-free stoner anthem, but it refers to the night Guy arrived in Thailand, where he was sent while stationed in the Army during the Vietnam War and went adventuring with a new friend. One of the album’s catchiest songs, “Scars,” is about how Guy learned to fight bullies in high school and how the lessons he learned helped him grow. Another highlight, “Circle Back Around,” relates to a story about avoiding cops when he was part of a group of mischievous kids. The song’s title also refers to Jayda revisiting the documents of her father’s past and considering how the circumstances people are born into affect their lives. The midtempo “Your Thoughts” continues this sort of introspection, with Jayda reflecting on the similarities between her father’s life and her own. “When She Dance” is an exuberant tribute to Jayda’s grandmother, who worked hard to raise her son, but who partied hard as a necessary form of release — clearly something relevant to Jayda’s lifestyle. While the album is heavy on celebratory moments, particularly the piano rave tune “Sapphires of Gold,” it ends on a heartbreaking note with “15 Foot,” a reference to the waves of grief Jayda’s mother felt when Guy died. Jayda’s first full-length, Significant Changes, tied into her environmental toxicology studies, specifically related to the destruction of whales’ ecosystems. Guy (the album) is even more thematically bound, and its structure of pop songs threaded together with interview clips makes it feel a bit more essay-ish than the debut, which was named after a phrase Jayda often used in her final thesis. That said, Jayda does a magnificent job connecting deeply personal stories with accessible music.


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