Coke, booze, murder: Jay Reatard’s “Fading All Away”

“Time may heal wounds but I will kill you,” Reatard sings, practically croons, over garage-rock chord progressions in his song, “Fading All Away”. Jay Retard said in a Village Voice interview, “I’m trying to contrast between lyrical content and how a song makes you feel.”

In “Fading All Away” the singing is bleak and doomed, while the music is fast-paced and energetic. It’s a fitting combination for Jay Reatard, who died prematurely, with the help of cocaine and alcohol. The coke is like the guitars—an upper, the booze like the lyrics, a downer. The song seems like a sonic portrait of a murderer caught in a mixed state (when someone is both energetic and depressed at the same time). The quickness and shortness of the song mirror the impulsivity of the murderous act sung about in the lyrics, and the brevity of the track lets you listen to it over and over, mirroring the obsession or compulsion of a wild mind.

Check out this tab of the track–it’s decently done and the song is pretty easy. Play it ten times at dusk and perhaps you can invoke Jay’s shade. Or freak out your roommate listening through the wall.

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