Jeremy Squires is no stranger to the world of music. He has consistently released impressive tracks over the last 15 years. As much as his sound may have slightly changed, the soul with his words has always stayed the same. His heart on his sleeve style of songwriting has continued to impress. He talks about honest topics and adds so much emotion with his voice. Over that time, he has created so many gems including, In The Dark, When Will You Go, Collapse and Poem.
Now Squires returns with his eleventh album Unravel. It is a collection of songs, as always, inspired by moments from his life. With this release, some are about his beloved grandmother, who sadly passed away. He says, “My granny was the foundation of our family, and because my mom, my dad, and my grandparents have all passed away, she was the last thing I had really. So when she passed away, I felt like things were unravelling. But, unravelling isn’t just a negative thing. It could be something unravelling into something beautiful, like a different story about to start or another chapter beginning. For me, I felt like things were going to fall apart, and then everything was OK in the end”. Others tracks “were built with friends as a way to stay connected during the pandemic”.
Squires has said Unravel is a bit experimental. He approached some of the songs in a new direction. Its opening track, “My Last Song”, reflects this change to his sound. Its foundations are still there, but this time supported by some bass, synth and beats by Erin Tate (formerly from Minus the Bear). The dreamlike soundtrack is a fantastic addition to his captivating vocals and storytelling talents.
“Fade” returns to a sound that fans will recognise. From the outset, his fingers move around the guitar to enchant the listener. Soon, Squires vocal presence comes in with the lines “Another life / Pictures of the past come back / In black and white photographs”. There is a raw emotion to his voice, a quality that has continued to stand out and impress since his early songs. As it continues, the music is allowed to float effortlessly between his words. It is easy to become lost within its soundtrack but in a good way.
Listen to “Fade” off of Unravel
The album continues with “Only in My Dreams” and “Aurora”. Both offer more of his emotional storytelling and some more changes to his usual sound. However, both get overshadowed as he delivers another memorable moment with “Unravel”. As he mentioned earlier, this is a personal moment for him. You can hear the connection to his words from the opening lines “When I saw black / I swore I would believe / There was a sound / What goes up sometimes don’t come down”. Its soundtrack is minimal compared to other moments within the album. In doing so, it lets the listener take in Squire’s heart-breaking words. None express this more than “When I got back home / To find you sitting all alone / With your head face down / Yeah, what goes up won’t come back down”. As always, the honesty he shares within his lyrics is what makes this artist special.
Unravel by Jeremy Squires is everything that honest songwriting should be about
Squires lets his guitar work shine yet again during “Dream Walking”. It does not do anything different, but there is something hypnotic that keeps drawing attention. Then comes “Burst”, one of those songs which did not stand out much on the first listen. But it quietly begins to steal attention with further listens. From its beginning, there is a different vibe about it. Maybe it’s the subtle beats and how his guitar sounds. As always, the quality of his writing elevates things further. Especially with lines such as “I am not afraid / Words don’t show / Breath through darker days / Fade to a memory”. There is something special about this combination that is difficult to put into words.
“Crosses” and “Diminish” delivers more of the outstanding storytelling that we have come to expect. But bringing this to a close comes “Borderline”, another gem of a track. One which he says, “I think that song is about getting close to a tipping point. I tried to make it beautiful, but it is really a sad song. I wanted it to be at the end. Because the whole album seemed to build and to rise and fall, and I felt like that song was a good closer. I feel like leaving the album with that fit perfectly”.
Its intro features a guitar that feels hopeful, with its gentle and spacious playing style. Squires’s voice joins in with a tone to match his six-string. Both float effortlessly around each other to create a mesmerising vibe. Usually, his lyrics steal the show. But it is the beautiful nature of how the song feels which stands out the most. It is the perfect way to end yet another superb album by this talented artist.
Jeremy Squires has moved out of his usual comfort zone with Unravel. He builds on his already impressive lyrical talents but pushes his arrangements of its soundtracks. He is happy with what he has created and says, “I feel like it’s something that makes me proud. With a lot of things, I’m a perfectionist. But with this one, I’m happy with everything. It tells what I wanted it to tell, from what I was going through during the pandemic, everything I lost. It’s about finding a healthy balance and finding beauty in dark times”. Like his releases before, press play, and let him tell honest stories that you feel, as well as hear.