If there’s one thing listeners will glean from New York anti-folk singer-songwriter Jaymay’s debut, Autumn Fallin’, it’s that whoever broke her heart has blue eyes—and that his name might be Ben. The charming “Sea Green, See Blue” recounts the end of a seven-month love affair with an artist/drifter, set to a lilting melody and catchy hummed hook. Born 26 years ago as Jamie Kristine Seerman, Jaymay sings in a conversational tone, particularly on the eloquent, nearly-10-minute waltz “You’d Rather Run,” which alternates between clever, candid, and poignantly complicated (“It’s not that I hate you/I never loved you enough to hate you/To get even or mad so as not to seem sad just seems ungrateful/‘Cause I’m grateful I’m sad”) and you-had-to-be-there obscurity that will fly over the heads of anyone who doesn’t know Jaymay personally or hasn’t ever accidentally bumped into an old friend on the Lower East Side (“Let’s be discreet if we are to meet on Ludlow ever again/Don’t mention Ben”). The chorus of the album’s opening track, “Gray or Blue,” is first introduced as a counter-melody in the background of the second verse before being repeated one more time later in the song, but even then it drifts along like a piece of a passerby’s half-heard private conversation on a busy city street; it’s just one of many lovely moments that make Autumn Fallin’ a quintessential New York album.
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