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Jeffrey James: Luxurious Minimalism and “Songs I Found in the Year I Lost”

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

Photographs by Chance Edwards

On October 15th, Jeffrey James released his new EP, “Songs I Found in the Year I Lost.” This collection of five tuneful songs is the result of a year spent inside James’s studio with, as he puts it, “nothing to do but sit, work, and think.” James’s EP features a rich choral presence that complements the introspective lyrics and adds layers to each song. Many of the songs in his EP, such as “Sober,” have call-and-response refrains that invite the listener into his story-like lyrics and prompt reflection. They also invoke a sense of nostalgia for times of comfort and camaraderie. Although his lyrics are very much cinematic, there is an element of simplicity to his music that stems from his use of piano and guitar to provide the backbone of his narrative and melodies.

This simplicity aligns strongly with James’s well-established fashion and style choices. In past music videos, photos, and live performances, James opts for modest outfits that consist of different silhouettes which are unified through subtle but rich color palettes, oftentimes monochromatic. He pairs relaxed shirts with tapered pants and cleanly styled hair, a smooth aesthetic that matches his rich voice and lends additional depth to his music. James’s songs often evoke reflection and emotion, and the refined, understated hues he wears provide a backdrop for his stirring lyrics and timbre to radiate. Even his accessories remain minimal, a pair of shades being his most common choice. In the cover photo of “Songs I Found in the Year I Lost,” James wears dark tailored trousers with a casual, carefree jacket worn over a stark white t-shirt. This outfit, paired with sophisticated mahogany loafers, epitomizes James’s minimalist aesthetic. His style makes a statement: his music speaks for itself.

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