with Alec Lytle
Tuesday, October 11th
Tickets: ADV $8 • DOS $10
Jaymay would probably be happy if her bio read in full: Jaymay’s a young New Yorker in love with books and music who writes eloquent, beautiful songs about the heart, her life in New York and the seasons. Her first album is Autumn Fallin’, out March 11th on Blue Note.
Actually, if she had things 100% her way, Jaymay would very likely not have any kind of bio at all. Or better yet, Autumn Fallin’ itself could serve as the bio. After all, just about everything anyone could need to know or want to ask is right there in the spare yet vivid lyrics of her subtly beautiful song-stories. So listen to the record, go see her perform its songs (and those from her self-released Sea Green See Blue EP, and possibly a few new and/or as yet unreleased numbers) and we’re good to go…
… Eh not really. Better to fill in a few basic background details if only so Jaymay doesn’t have to do so in every interview she’s bound to do as she continues to criss cross the globe in support of Autumn Fallin’. In fact, she’s already taken up residence in the UK, where Autumn Fallin’ has been released by Heavenly Recordings to a slew of rave reviews, and her live dates have ranged from UK headline gigs to European/UK support slots with Bright Eyes, Beirut, Jose Gonzalez, Caribou and Okkervil River to appearances at the Glastonbury, Belladrum and Latitude festivals.
But back to the humble beginnings of Jaymay, who was born Jamie Kristine Seerman some 26 years ago in Long Island, New York. One of six children, she stood out even then, teaching herself to play piano on the family’s rickety baby grand, showing an aptitude for violin and composing early “stupid, stupid songs” about her dog. As she grew into her innate talent, her penchant for literature would be rivaled only by her fascination with Bob Dylan--two passions that would intertwine later on as she herself became a great musical storyteller using lean, powerful melody and her own singular voice to paint a picture.
Following peripatetic phases that took her from Florida to Italy, those dual passions for all things literary and Dylanesque motivated a move into New York City, where she decided to pursue a job in publishing “just so I could get free books, just so I could be near books.” Thankfully though, she never landed that dream publishing job, because if she had, she might never have played that NYC open mic night in 2003, where halfway through a the first song she ever played in public, she realized she’d found her true calling.
This epiphany was followed by extensive performing and the self-released five-song Sea Green See Blue EP. Buoyed by word of mouth around her burgeoning live experience, an “Indie Spotlight” on iTunes, and rotation on Los Angeles’ influential KCRW (as well as on its popular Top Tune podcast), Sea Green See Blue topped the iTunes folk sales chart and within a scant two years of that first open mic night, Jaymay was selling out such marquee NYC clubs as Pianos, the Mercury Lounge and the Living Room—a performance from her residency at the latter moving Gothamist to gush "Girls with guitars are everywhere in this city, but this one --like a siren--was pulling people into this room and leaving them silent, speechless even. Shocked and lulled into a stupor."
Jaymay eschewed the inevitable and numerous label offers that came in the wake of these shows and the EP, opting to work undistracted on her first full length album: Autumn Fallin’, a song cycle that vividly details the story of a New York City relationship gone south for the winter. A beautiful piece of work best listened through as a complete whole, Autumn Fallin’ renders in vivid emotional detail the story of a love affair that navigates a bitter New York winter. From the opening rush and infatuation of “Gray or Blue” and “Sycamore Down” through the ecstatic “Blue Skies,” the sublime title track and the heart-wrenching finale’ of “You Are The Only One I Love,” Autumn Fallin’ is equal parts intimate and cinematic--or as The Observer put it “a warm, witty and wonderful record” that “plays like the updated musical version of Annie Hall.”
“Autumn Fallin’ is the death of a relationship and the death of a friend,” says Jaymay. “It’s about Autumn turning into Winter. The songs come from seven months of life and relationships in New York. But there’s hope there in the songs too. If you think of the first song, ‘Gray or Blue,’ and the last song, ‘You Are The Only One I Love,’ as bookends you can read a story.”
And in these personal, poetic recollections, Jaymay offers up not only a vivid insight into her own seven months, but also a reflection of the listener’s own life and loves. Left completely to her own devices, she made the record she wanted to make—or more to the point, the only record she could possibly make: the first full length offering from a fearless yet vulnerable new voice, one that’s just beginning to hint at an amazing potential to be achieved and exceeded in the years and decades to come—small wonder then that upon hearing it, EMI would make her an offer she creatively couldn't refuse, resulting in perfect homes at Heavenly Records in the UK and Blue Note here in the states.
Having spent much of his life in a supporting role for various musicians as a harmony singer and upright bass player, Alec Lytle began his solo music career at the urging of fellow musicians who convinced him that his personal songs deserved to be heard by an audience. Since then, he has played his nuanced acoustic music in clubs and bars from Los Angeles to San Francisco, in cafes in Thailand, public squares in Brazil and on any field or mountaintop where he can tell his stories to a few empathetic listeners or simply the wide open spaces… often with just his intimate voice, heartbreaking words, and the sound of his little Martin guitar.
Lytle also performs his music live with an ever-changing group of musicians known as Alec Lytle & Them Rounders featuring upright bass, mandolin, pedal steel guitar, percussion, and harmony vocals. Now, with his debut album The End of Ours due out this fall, his aim is to take listeners for an experience that can remind them of a simpler and calmer time. Americana influenced music that he strives to fill with a sense of place… the tall pines, rolling hills, and blankets of enveloping coastal fog that define his home, the rural coastal mountains of Northern California.
Lytle wrote most of the songs for The End of Ours over the four years he lived in a yurt he built in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Most nights were spent alone with the Pacific coastal fog collecting in the redwood trees overhead, dripping onto the canvas roof… Lytle often says that the tent structure was a great place to think and to write.