Jay Leighton

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Jay Leighton - Acoustic Live Act in Bradford

Jay Leighton Short Info

Jay Leighton began his music career in 2008 with a major label deal for his band Buffalo 77. The trio, fronted by Jay, released two singles and an album Memento in 2009. However, despite constant touring, some national airplay and an occasional rave review they had very little success. Disillusioned, the band decided to split and go their separate ways.

‘After my last band split up I sold all my guitars and amps and vowed never to make music again. Then, late one night, I started watching a documentary about Nick Drake, and I was reminded of how I fell in love with music in the first place. I was suddenly inspired to write again.’

Jay soon found himself back in the studio writing and recording a new 5 song EP ‘Polaroids & Stills’(2010) and sparse 10 song acoustic album ‘As The Sun Comes Up’ (2011).Buoyed with a new found enthusiasm for his music Jay picked up his guitar and toured solo. In addition he also spent months in a tour bus supporting Lamb on two European tours in 2011/ 2012 plus a short European tour supporting Lou Rhodes.

Jay then returned to the studio to record his new album.‘Hours’ was produced at Modern World Studios in Gloucestershire by Manic Street Preachers producer Greg Haver (Catatonia, Super Furry Animals) with lavish string arrangements by Andy Walters. Another key guest was double bassist Jon Thorne music duo Lamb.

‘Hours’ contains ten timeless pieces of songcraft:ten earworms that bury deep into your skull and stay with you for a long time. These are heart-tugging melodies complete with decisive chord changes, epic choruses and soaring strings.

'I think the most obvious influence on these songs are those classic albums that I was weaned on – The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, Nick Drake, as well as the grungier stuff that I listened to in my early teens – Nick Cave, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam and, above all, Nirvana. Kurt Cobain once said that he saw Nirvana songs as nursery rhymes, and I like that idea. All of the songs I write are pretty simple – I don’t think that any of them have more than four chords. They’re easy to sing, easy to get stuck in your head. In some ways, I’m constrained by my lack of ability. If I was a better guitar player, I don’t think I’d be able to write songs!’

The album’s lyrical themes tend to jump between escapism and commitment. The lead track, ‘Wish I Was Springsteen’, sees him dreaming of a better life. ‘That was the fastest song I’ve written,’ says Leighton. ‘It was the last song we recorded on the album, played with a live band for the first time.’

‘The Devil and I’ is about the joys and perils of reckless abandon (inspired by those aforementioned hedonistic tours around Europe).‘Sentimental Things’, the most ruthlessly poppy song on the album, is also the darkest ('it’s an attack on sugar-coated phoneys and liars you meet'), while ‘Cause & Consequence’ is an epic ballad that celebrates living in the moment.

Elsewhere Leighton sings of commitment, as on the Springsteen-inspired ‘Don’t Look Back’, the Coldplay-ish ‘Too Late to Turn your Back on Me’, or the love song to his wife ‘Find The One You Love’. Towards the end of the album, the mood becomes more reflective, with three melancholic waltzes.‘Pictures And Memories’ was written after Jay attended his grandmother’s funeral(… it’s about what we leave behind when we die’), while the closing numbers ‘Sea Scenes And Skylines’ and ‘Painting Flowers’ both address death in a more positive vein.

‘I don’t believe in an afterlife,’ says Leighton. ‘I believe that the only thing you leave behind is your work, your creations, your art. All of these songs are about leaving something behind that will be remembered, something that you can be proud of, something that will move other people.’

Jay Leighton began his music career in 2008 with a major label deal for his band Buffalo 77. The trio, fronted by Jay, released two singles and an album Memento in 2009. However, despite constant touring, some national airplay and an occasional rave review they had very little success. Disillusioned, the band decided to split and go their separate ways.

‘After my last band split up I sold all my guitars and amps and vowed never to make music again. Then, late one night, I started watching a documentary about Nick Drake, and I was reminded of how I fell in love with music in the first place. I was suddenly inspired to write again.’

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Origin

  • Bradford GB