- Bryon Harris
Jay Regan - 'How Hard It Can Be'
Jay Regan is a rock artist out of Philadelphia. He is a seasoned musician and singer who got his experience playing in bands throughout the 90's. After taking some time to regroup, Jay began writing and performing solo work in 2011. He released his first original album in 2014 titled 'Dreams and Nightmares' followed by 'Wash Me' in April of 2017. From "Wash Me," his single “How Hard it Can Be” is sure to get you hooked on his music.
"How Hard It Can Be" kicks off with a brief intro starting with the entrance of a hollow sounding drum beat; a vocal chorus enters soon after. The lush vocal harmonies in the intro are immediately engaging and showcase Jay's songwriting uniqueness. After this brief intro, the full rock arrangement breaks in. During the verses, Jay’s vocals shine through displaying a nice tenor-ranged tone with a laid-back and unobtrusive rock vibe. Throughout, Jay possesses great melodic sensibility. The verses build to a strong hook with smooth transitions. Remnants of the intro return at the end of the song for a feeling of finality. Nice electric guitar motifs and a keyboard solo tastefully fill-in the space.
“How Hard it Can Be” is a song about addiction and the impact it has on people’s lives. Jay conveys this message in a straight-forward manner - he lays it out the way he sees it. In the first verse he sings, “I know, I know you got that look it your eyes / I know, I know that deathly stare / You took a trip down to the chemist / Oh boy that cupboard is bare.” The image of desperation is painted in your mind as Jay's passionate musical presentation sweeps over you. The hook slightly changes each time for nice variety. For example, in the first hook Jay sings, “and I know when you look at the sea /you're just killing some time /yes I know how hard it can be.” The second time he sings, “and I know when you look in the sky /it comes crashing down." The lyrics tell a cautionary tale with honesty - "You're such a disgrace living on someone else's dime" as well as empathy - "yes, I know how hard it can be." In "How Hard It Can Be" Jay shows that he can dig into difficult topics without coming off angry, theatrical or judgmental; the song is a slice of reality sung with emotion and empathy allowing the listener to truly listen and feel.
The video below captures the perils of addiction and the essence of the song:
Overall, "How Hard It Can Be" is easy to get addicted to. Jay Regan is undoubtedly a talented musician, songwriter and singer with the repertoire to prove it. “How Hard it Can Be” is just one shining example of the kind of work that Jay offers. This song and his other projects are available for purchase via BandCamp. For more information on Jay, visit his website.