I never really “got” Jeffrey Lewis. I saw him at Reading last year, and whilst it was prefectly nice, I just didn’t understand the fuss about him. But, getting his new album, ‘Em Are I, I’ve successfully been converted. It’s the lyrics, I just want to listen to every single thing he has to say. There aren’t many artists with the ability to craft funny, poignant, uplifting and insane things in one song, but he definitely ranks among these lucky few.
The music itself is completely different to my expectation, and I think it’s down to the addition of the Junkyard band to the mix, which has resulted in a lot more band-oriented tracks, with Libertines-style guitar, Cake-like freak-outs and even what sounds like a square-dance all represented. But in every track Lewis’ voice still takes pride of place. I think I’ll just list some lyrics that I love, and you can have a listen for yourself.
“Going bald will be the most manly thing I do”
“I still don’t have a cellphone, but this seashell gets reception, and the ocean won’t stop calling, and I want a restraining order”
Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard – To Be Objectified (YSI)
“I had a pig, it really was a sight, when it was dark, he glowed at night”
Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard – Good Old Pig, Gone To Avalon (YSI)