Poets, painters, authors, filmmakers, and artists of all kinds uncover inspiration within the
truth. As art timelessly and endlessly reflects life, it’s the ultimate wellspring of creativity.
Jaymay’s honesty first became a beacon for fans worldwide on her 2007 major label debut, Autumn Fallin’. Not only did the album take the New York singer and songwriter around the globe, but it also garnered glowing praise from the likes of The Washington Post, Paste Magazine, NY Daily News, Q and Spin, who dubbed it a “masterpiece.”
Throughout the past decade, she continued to tour and release music before the advent of what would be the most trying period of her life.
In 2013, she abruptly cancelled the North American Never Be Daunted Tour and ended up in the hospital. “I went through this terrible illness,” she admits. “I have Crohn’s Disease, and I took a year off. There was nothing I could do. I didn’t want to be in pain anymore. I made the decision to go through it. With the reconciliation of things that are out of my control, music came from this experience.”
Emerging stronger on the other side, Jaymay delivers her second full-length record, the aptly titled To Tell The Truth. Its 13 songs elegantly bring her entire journey thus far full circle. Bookending the trials and tribulations of both her personal struggle and the tragic passing of her developmentally disabled sister Cassie, at age 26, the music paints a poignant portrait of life, loss and love colored by acoustic guitar, piano, literary lyricism, and her vulnerable and vital vocals.
During the time in which physical frailty made just holding a guitar a struggle, Jaymay also shifted her mode of expression to the visual arts, honing her skills in painting and collage. This artwork became and still remains inextricably tied to her music, and originals and limited edition prints are available as companion pieces to the album.
All in all, 2016 proved the right time for this body of work to be both heard AND seen.
“I have an obsession with truth telling,” says Jaymay. “I would say the muse for writing in the first place is to learn about myself. That’s how it’s always been. In order to craft the record, I took the best songs I’d written over the past five years and built To Tell The Truth. The album is the realization of an original goal. Telling the truth is the epitome of what I was feeling. I’m finally ready to reintroduce myself to the public.”
It’s an apropos reintroduction to say the least. The album opens with the wistful wishing of “Baby Maybe One Day”, which sets a cinematic tone for the narrative to follow.
Meanwhile, “I Was Only Lovin’ You” builds from acoustic strumming into an anthemic declaration, of which she says, “It flips things around. It’s more about the singer finding something in herself than it is about necessarily loving the guy.”
Her lifelong passion for literature remains a driving force. “Never Weep” sees Jaymay complement lines from poet Robinson Jeffer’s For Una with vivid wordplay of her own. It even received full support from the artist’s estate. Elsewhere, “Cassie’s Song” etches out a heartfelt elegy to her sister with an upbeat groove and lithe and lush refrain.
“I dedicated the album to her,” Jaymay goes on. “The entire song is her story. At the same time, it goes back to our childhood. I sing about the sycamore tree in the backyard and mention the exact address of where we lived in Long Island. It was one of those songs that just spoke through me. We took the album cover photo at the end of the same street on the beach. It’s so tied to my childhood and growing up with Cassie.”
Partnering with PledgeMusic for the release of To Tell The Truth, a percentage of album proceeds benefit The Center For Discovery in Monticello, NY, where Cassie attended school. She literally welcomed fans to be a part of the process.
“Pledge was a great partner because the people are the crux of this whole campaign,” she adds. “It felt like the perfect platform for an independent artist like me to engage my fans and involve them.”
Jaymay also continues to give back whenever she can. In 2013, Pay It Forward Networking reached out to the artist online. Two-year-old Lexi Gordon had been diagnosed with Tay-Sachs—a terminal neurological disease. Prior to the diagnosis, she loved to sing along to “Blue Skies” from Autumn Fallin’. With a few hours’ notice, Jaymay flew to Louisiana and performed at Lexi’s bedside. For the first time in months, the child began to kick, move, and mouth the lyrics. It’s these kinds of moments, which speak to her devotion and dedication not only to art, but the world at large.
In the end, To Tell The Truth stands out as Jaymay’s boldest, bravest, and brightest work yet. Yet, she picks up right where she left off still telling the truth. “I never did disappear,” she leaves off. “The story I’m telling encompasses everything. I want to impart myself and my life into this work. It’s the story. It’s genuine. I hope everyone knows me better now.”


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Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3