Jay Arner – s/t

Mint Records

If Vancouver’s Jay Arner had jumped ship to Canada’s musical centre (a.k.a. Toronto) chances are he would have been huge by now. After all he’s definitely paid his dues. But after years of playing in West Coast acts likes International Falls Fine Mist and the Poison Dart not to mention recording countless acts Arner has embraced his birth name for an album worthy of grabbing Canada’s attention on a national scale.

Arner’s Mint Records debut is a solo album to the core being entirely self-recorded self-produced and self-played. Hell it’s even self-titled and sports a massive photo of Arner’s mug on the cover. Yet despite being the work of one man it’s surprisingly diverse.

Arner jumps from synth-tinted ’80s revamps (“Surf Don’t Sink”) to late-night rock confessionals (“Out to Lunch”) to School of Sloan pop-power gems (“Don’t Remind Me”) that you’ll be singing along to on first listen. But this is hardly an exercise in genre-jumping as Arner comes out with a concise statement held together by his frail sensitive-guy vocals hooks for miles and production skills that most bands would kill for.

For those searching for Canada’s next great Prince of Pop look no further than Jay Arner.