At the turn of the new millennium British music was in the doldrums. It was suffering badly from the effects of a post Brit-pop hangover and bedraggled by the success of the likes of David Gray. The landscape looked sparse.
Amidst this mire emerged a young English musician Matthew Jay and his debut album, Draw. It was believed to be an impressive debut and a taste of things to come from a talented songwriter. However, it turned out to be his only album, a testament to his young life. In early hours of September 25, 2003, at just 24 he fell to his death from a seventh-floor apartment window in London.
On its release in spring 2001 Draw attracted rave reviews and a Mercury Music Prize nomination. Jay found himself compared to the likes of Nick Drake, Jeff Buckley and Elliott Smith (eerily all of which died young, Smith himself died less than a month later).
It is an album which is deeply touching and largely hopefull, steering clear of unbearable tragedy. Jay’s shy soft voice lending a gentle warmth and richness to the songs. Jay is just as comfortable with delicate acoustic thumbing or the more vigouris electric numbers, all of which are hugely infectious.
It is a real shame he is no longer with us, he was surely destined for great things. You can probably pick-up a copy of Draw quite easily and for a resonable price these days – it comes highly recommened.