Will Jay is not the only one who has lost track of time. Since 2019 still feels like “last year,” Will Jay must be riding high from the release of his debut album which came out last summer. Perfectionist indicated a new direction for the local artist’s career, one that is paved with happy and innovative indie pop. Now he is a little lost in time. Don’t let the past confuse you like it did Will Jay; listen to “Was It Even Real?” below.
“Sometimes I look at photos of myself and I have a hard time feeling like that person is actually me because so much is different now.” These thoughts, Will Jay revealed in a press release, were the origin of the new song. We humans are different organisms every seven years as our cells regenerate, and so what the Asian-American musician describes is intensely relatable. The malleability of memory can create a funhouse mirror that warps everything including our self-image. That discomfort is the undercurrent of “Was It Even Real?”
The opening measure in the style of a ballad is a bit delightfully misleading, as the rest of the single has a bright, blissful palette. The tight guitar and percussion are the essentials for Will Jay’s indie pop niche, while his voice places a pastel veil over the whole affair. The melody switch into the outro gives the song an ethereal quality, creating an affection for one’s imperfect memories as well as a clever transition to the outro (which seamlessly loops back to the slow intro). How did we get here? It doesn’t really matter—via PR, Will Jay adds, “It’s important to be present and enjoy every moment because it’s already gone.”
by: Zoë Elaine