“Don’t Remind Me” – Jay Arner
Vancouver multi-instrumentalist Jay Arner here performs the estimable trick of creating a pensive anthem. The pensiveness is heard in the song’s continued reliance on both minor and suspended chords, as well as in Arner’s naturally reticent singing voice. Even the title is oddly introspective for a command, as well as ambiguous: when you tell someone “Don’t remind me,” you are typically talking about something you’re already dwelling on; on the other hand, spoken seriously, the sentence can nearly be a threat.
The song’s stellar chorus serves as a pithy distillation of the entire composition, its air of yearning, sing-along-iness at once undermined and enriched by something more slippery and reflective. Arner keeps his voice mixed a little bit further down than we might hear in a typical anthemic rocker, and even in the chorus keeps finishing his melodic lines on top of one of those suspended chords of his. He even buries the power-poppy lead guitar line nearly below audibility, forcing the ear to listen for something it may not even realize is there. Brisk, concise, and allusive, “Don’t Remind Me” is a fine song for any lingering summer evenings that remain, while hinting at the chill yet to come.
Arner has previously made a career from being in bands and/or producing and/or remixing other people’s music. His self-titled solo debut was released in late June on Mint Records. I like that “Don’t Remind Me” is the seventh track of ten; that alone speaks to Arner’s thoughtfulness. You can download the song the usual way, via the link above, or head to SoundCloud and contribute some bandwidth back to Fingertips by downloading over there.