The version of an ocean that Jaymay cooks up in her song "Sea Green, Sea Blue" is the one that feels like the Hudson River that beats against the edge of New York City on a day that's easily ignored or cursed. One knows that it's not really an ocean (it's a river, says so in its name), though it looks like it and acts like it as much as a body of water can. We know that parts of that Atlantic are rumbling around in that drink, hugging the Statue, craning up at the big buildings and crestfallen faces of those Wall Street bankers these days. The English export whips up a scene of choppy, hacking water, casting a grey canopy overtop the mass and puts a contemplative countenance on those looking upon it from the shore.
She gives it the attributes of its dangerous liaisons with grungy days and unseemly temperaments, when nerves are on edge and yet there's still a romantic quality to the air - a steady wind that forces everyone to button up just a little bit and escaping candlestick flames. The atmosphere is peppered with heavy tells and body language - if we could only see it. She suggests over the course of the six-minute song that she missed the winter because that's the time when she knew the love she's singing about better. She suggests, without suggesting a thing, that she's saying more about all of these things than she ever did when they were fresh and flashing, happening in front of her. A knack for reflecting so gently on these little fumbles that make us all butterfingers and a person exiting one life for another that was possibly, reluctantly chosen is an incredible strength of this young songwriter.
She writes with a certain amount of dread and foreboding in her ink that lends itself favorably to the imagery of an uncompromising and beating body of water and yet in staring at that water - in its blues and greens and blacks - one can be taken with the thought that there a million dollars worth of beauty and operatic movement just floating amongst the hardness, amongst the debris and all that will wash ashore and be thrown back. She makes melodies that dial up a cinnamon-y, late autumn jet stream and just rides them out, freckling her songs with wry observances and slack furtiveness that is exactly what makes her songs stand out from the rest of the crowded pack.
She writes smartly and with a touch of a short story writer - getting to the crux when she needs to be there and not just dancing around. She sings like a girl from back in the days when everyone traveled by train and carried their belongings in hat boxes, letting the words roll out of her mouth as if they were the lightly flappings of a farewell handkerchief, beckoning so long to a memory still standing on the landing as the engine started pulling its cars away from the station. It might as well be taking her right into that green and blue sea that she's singing about, chugging into the boundless waters as if it was simply gliding its way to the very bottom, passing all of the dark wonders as it fell. They would all surely come back to her at a later date, fully developed into another turning of the cheek, sad-logged tale of rosy cheeks and times that could have been.