Jay Psaros Reflects on Lost Connections in "Strangers Again" (premiere)
Singer-songwriter Jay Psaros deftly blends a multitude of genre-based influences into a subtle and sweet look back on past relationships.
At the core of Jay Psaros' artistry is a penchant for going "where the work is". Born to a family of self-employed workers, Psaros has shifted genres, venues, and even careers throughout the music landscape over the past decade as he's followed that familiar mantra. The 33-year-old artist has played an amalgam of folk, jazz, blues, country, and rock in smoky bars, clubs, house parties, and medieval dinner theaters. All the while, he's been a singer-songwriter on top of balancing further occupations as a producer, booking agent, blogger, and music teacher on top of it all as he's been striving to keep following his hardworking path.
More recently, Psaros' hard efforts have been paying off. His forthcoming fifth album, The Trees Beyond the Town, is an indication of that. It's a reflection of the decade he has spent self-employed as well as a lens into a more auspicious future for the Northeastern artist. While his multi-faceted efforts have seen him become more of a fusion artist than he had anticipated, there is no doubting that Psaros is on the right path with his music even as it traverses so many paths at once.
Such is evident in Psaros' latest single, titular "Strangers Again". Psaros' sweet vocals lend themselves genuinely to the gentle sway of the driving arrangement, clearly showing his penchant for folk-style songwriting. He showcases his penchant for jazz and blues in subtle instrumental indications, such as in the sweetness of his electric guitar licks, or the soulfulness of his overlying keyboard performance. Psaros' subtle approach to musical adaptability evokes similarities to successful acts along the lines of Hirai Dai or Donovan Frankenreiter, perhaps affirming that his more offbeat approach to songwriting has its place. "Where the work is" might just continue to keep on being better to him as time goes on.
Psaros tells PopMatters, "Sometimes our closest friend can become our most distant memory. A breakup can be one of the clearest and most impactful representations of this. You shared time, meals, laughs, a bed and the most intimate aspects of your life. But when it ends, you feel you've hardly known that person at all. It ended as it started. As strangers."
The Trees Beyond the Town releases on 14 December.