Your Long Drive’s Best Friend
Jay Rence is more than a rapper. The Medford, Oregon resident is an engineer, producer, guitarist, singer, songwriter and the list could go on. In a world oversaturated with trap beats, Rence’s style is a breath of fresh air. Drawing comparisons to Odd Future affiliated band: the Internet, Rence’s sound incorporates smooth guitar licks, production from familiar sample packs and a rhodes piano. All the while his verses invoke memories between catchy hooks. Needless to say, when Rence told me he was dropping a concept album, I was excited.
The 13-track album is titled “Clairvoyance” and is quite a ride. Running at 38 minutes, the project actually feels like a complete body of work. This day and age, albums feel disjointed and are designed for playlist listeners with short attention spans; Clairvoyance isn’t for them. This record incorporates interludes (God, I missed interludes) that invoke memories of Childish Gambino’s “Because The Internet” and transitions between tracks smoother than the vinyl you just dug out of the closet.
The project’s instrumentals are its guiding light, and Rence fills in the gaps with some poetic wordplay. Clairvoyance was long, but never demanded a skip. The interludes connected an overarching story, while the hooks got me to sing along. I sat down with the Jay Rence project with a brew and something rolled up at my desk, but the entire time I felt like I should be cruising down the road without a care in the world.
The basslines of the project help the instrumentals weave between genres fluidly. I heard Jazz, Neo-Soul, funk, disco, boom bap, R&B, alternative rock and hip hop influences throughout Clairvoyance, and I’m sure you can probably find more.
Following an interlude that introduces the listener to the concept record, “Stop” draws the listener in with a melodic hook that will have you swaying left and right with the rhythm. This song feels like steve lacy track that spent the whole night listening to Brockhampton. A phenomenal cut to start the project with. Stop is a great introduction to both the project and the artist, informing listeners that this project won’t sound like many others.
This song stands out partially due to the smoothness that brings it into your speakers. The previous track, “5 PM” is an interlude that ends with the backing piano riff for “Real Slow”. The Rhodes glides into a guitar riff that could’ve been played by John Mayer. The Neo-Soul vibe is strong on this song. Rence’s verses describe a romantic encounter and guide the listener to the hook having one singing “Looking to the left, looking to the right” along with the background singers.
“Nowhere to Be (Feat. ROHSE)”
I had to double check my phone and make sure it didn’t sneak in some Nappy Roots or Tribe Called Quest into my rotation when this song came on. The track’s bass line is viciously smooth and instantly sets the vibe for your summer barbecue.s the neo-soul drum kit bounces, Rence is clearly in his element spitting an energetic verse to match. This the track to play for the homies that keep trying to leave early. A gentle reminder to stick around and enjoy the energy in the room.
“Don’t Think (Feat. Jaya Raise)”
Jay Rence told me that one of his influences was the Bee Gees, and this track proves him right. The hook is disco makes the song into ballad about letting loose and having a blast on the dance floor. Who’s against that? The inter-genre feel of the song really tied the feel of the project together in this song. The rap verses maintain the same energy as the chorus, making this my favorite song for the long road trip I’ve decided I’m going to take with this project. This is one that you’ve just got to listen to for yourself.
Clairvoyance provides the listener with a wonderful companion for any adventure they plan on taking. Whether it’s a moment to one’s self, or a ride to the beach with a loved one, Clairvoyance is there for you. Jay Rence has proven to be incredibly talented as the project’s producer, engineer, and the artist you hear on the track. I’m excited to see what the future holds for this independent artist, as he’s clearly proven that he’s earned his stripes as a musician. Take some time out of your day and see where Jay Rence’s Clairvoyance takes you, I know I enjoyed the ride.