“Captivating…gently compelling and emotionally/lyrically vulnerable.” – The Big Takeover
“Armon Jay finds beauty in ‘The Dark Side of Happiness’” – The Ties That Bind Us
“In The Dark Side of Happiness, Jay takes on the bigger challenges of learning to face yourself every day, and maybe even learning to love yourself somehow.” – Tower Records
Armon Jay shares his latest single “Lighthouse
” today, from his forthcoming third solo album The Dark Side of Happiness, out September 18. The new record offers an intimate glimpse into Armon’s own inner conflict, a quiet record with subtle dynamics, but emotionally raw.
With “Lighthouse,” which debuted on legendary tastemaker mag The Big Takeover, Armon uses a captivating, beachside visual to demonstrate the powerful struggle of searching for light when someone is lost in their own dark headspace. Along with the track, Armon shares a special “atmospheric” (The Big Takeover) music video filmed and edited by Guadalupe Bustos.
I’ll stay whole for you
I’ll try not to fall apart
Even on the days I drift out into the dark
Listen to me
Don’t let your spirit burn out
Stay lit for me
You are a lighthouse
He explains, “On the surface, you would probably think this song is about leaving someone you love, asking them to be your guide while away. But for me, there is a deeper meaning. I can physically be around the one’s I love and yet my mind and true self is somewhere else in a dark place. And that’s when I truly need their light to guide me back.”
The Big Takeover
described the song as, “gently compelling and emotionally/lyrically vulnerable.”
“Lighthouse” follows the release of “Half Life,” a stunningly dark and beautiful song that aims to help those dealing with mental health issues feel less alienated and alone.
Armon spent nearly 14 hours a day for two months recording the album, barely getting any sleep. “As heavy lyrically as the album is, it was the most fun I’ve ever had making music,” he insists. “I woke up every day with a feeling of purpose which felt right. It felt good.”
Working with mixer Zach Hanson from Justin Vernon’s April Base studio outside of Eau Claire, WI, where Bon Iver albums are made, proved to play a major role in how it turned out after Armon recorded “in the box,” using his UAD interface and plugins. “I credit Zach with bringing that analog warmth to the album,” says Armon, adding kudos for Jeremy Larson, who recorded and arranged the strings for three tracks (“Lighthouse,” “Break the Habit” and the title song) and Abby Gundersen, responsible for the violins on “Stay Grounded.”
The last two years have been the most successful yet for Armon Jay’s ascendant musical career. As a member of Chris Carrabba’s Dashboard Confessional, he toured and recorded with the band on its first studio album in nine years. Songs from his first two solo albums earned a number of song placements, including “Edge of the Dark” (from 2013’s Everything’s Different, Nothing’s Changed), which garnered syncs in Criminal Minds, So You Think You Can Dance and Salvation, while “Better Off Without” (from 2015’s Del Rio) ended up in 13 Reasons Why, Nashville, Heartbeat and Set It Up, among others.
“Depression can be hard to articulate. It’s not something that can be summed up easily. But, I believe life is worth living. I allowed myself to go to some dark places on the record, with the purpose of trying to work through them as a temporary residency.”
In The Dark Side of Happiness, Armon Jay offers his own glimpse of a life filled with hope, not quite a final destination, but a path towards further growth, artistic and personal.