Over the past two years, a plethora of artists released back-to-back albums without the opportunity to tour in between - one of them being indie pop artist, Jeremy Zucker. His sophomore album, love is not dying, came at the dawn of quarantine and featured masterpieces in “always, i’ll care” and “not ur friend.” After leisurely releasing a few singles since, he brought us a new collection of tunes last month, on his album CRUSHER.
While love is not dying walked deeply in melancholic introspection, CRUSHER hones in on Jeremy’s real life experiences. Whether it’s the personifying imagery of his depressive drive down the freeway or the thrills of dating an 18-year-old girl at the age of 16, CRUSHER accentuates Jeremy’s storytelling prowess. Sure, the album has traces of love is not dying thematically, but CRUSHER differs in the sense that it invites fans into new depths of his personal space. His vulnerable narrative is backed by minimally-processed guitars and drums, a complete 180 turn from the thorough electronic production of love is not dying. Perhaps this contrast and eclecticism is what separates Jeremy from his contemporaries.
It is safe to say that he used this very uniqueness to his advantage on his MORE NOISE headliner tour in Los Angeles last week, playing a 20-song set that perfectly balanced the two albums. The sell-out show at The Novo was Jeremy’s largest headlining show ever, and he graced us with the performance of a lifetime. Everything from his soothing vocals and gorgeous visuals, to his live debut of “Nothing’s the Same” with Alexander 23, kept the crowd swaying all night. Although it felt almost too predictable and conflictless - it was obvious from the beginning that the mellow nature of Jeremy’s music would induce gentle waltzing in the crowd.
But then came “supercuts.”
Within seconds, the size of the pit doubled. Everyone who has ever attended a pop-punk concert stormed the pit and moshed like there was no tomorrow. It was truly a beautiful yet earth-shattering (quite literally) phenomenon, one that is particularly rare within the indie pop scene, giving a subtle nudge to one of Jeremy’s major influences, blink-182.
As the exhilaration of “supercuts” faded, Jeremy told the crowd “I told everyone I wasn’t going to do an encore this tour” and proceeded to walk off stage. Confusion and disappointment ran rampant across the venue. The setlist from nights before indicated that “Supercuts” was indeed the last song, so there was no tell of whether he was telling the truth.
After a brief moment of what felt like eternity, the beats of “talk is overrated” snuck in. Jeremy walked out with a smile, knowing that he got the crowd good. The crowd reciprocated his playful love by yelling “talk is overrated, let’s just vibe / love is overrated in my mind” back to him, enriching the post-concert nostalgia that was to come.
Photos by Enoch Chuang: