Jeremy Zucker – Tuning Fork: October 5, 2022

Jeremy Zucker left the audience ecstatic and wishing they could have it again. Perfect indie pop for the Generation X kids.

Zucker comes from Franklin County, New Jersey. Like many of his pop music peers, he started making music in his bedroom. One of the positive benefits of social media and the internet. Had an early high school band. Went to college and secured a degree in molecular biology. Emerges as a pop star and we may be seeing him at a peak, or just prior to going supernova.

Jeremy ZuckerI’m So Happy is his brand-new single, co-written by Benee, who is not on stage tonight so he asks the audience to sing her part. It feels like sunny Los Angeles pop with a little jazz to give it a nice melodic swing. The music is uncluttered and frames the easy nature of the vocals.

He has a fertile musical legacy to draw from. He doesn’t pronounce it Noo Joisey but has a Pacific coast accent. The Jersey state nurtured Springsteen Frank Sinatra, Whitney Houston, Bon Jovi just for starters. The spirit of American music lives there as much as New York City, Los Angeles, Memphis, New Orleans, Detroit.

The opening brace of songs lays out his manifesto perfectly. We’re Fucked It’s Fine, Therapist and All the Kids are Depressed. Young angst framed in expertly crafted and hook-laden music. Start quiet and moody, then kick off with a bang to lift the spirit.

Adam Melchor

Adam Melchor also comes from New Jersey. He has been a choir leader and has a degree Adam Melchorin Opera. Played bars and clubs in his home state as well as New York City. Formed a band in Brooklyn until they headed off to Nashville and he stayed back.

He plays solo with an acoustic guitar, and with the first song of the evening, Light Year, he slays the already-packed room. A voice which swoops up on high effortlessly, and in perfect pitch. More spectacular gymnastics follow. Delightful folk pop which has a sense of Americana.

I Choose You sounds similar to the folk style of the 60s Paul Simon. Similar rhythmic style using the guitar as a percussion instrument, with a little jazz phrasing. In those halcyon days of the Boomers laying down their brand-new bags, jazz was the catalysing ingredient that informed the folk boom, pop, rock’n’roll and Motown.

I’m Ready. High tenor or falsetto, he sounds smoother than Smokey Robinson.

The whole room reacts to the way he can repeatedly dramatise in the best Roy Orbison fashion. He can sustain for longer.

Closes with his signature song Real Estate. Back in Simon folk territory. I can still find your hair in my bed and my clothes/ In my mouth, in my nose/ Oh, who knows? Romantic regret and angst with more of those arresting and dramatic vocals.

Jeremy Zucker

He gets through close to two dozen songs in ninety minutes. There is no song which doesn’t have some hook or novelty to lift it. Accompanied by brother Tom on keyboards and bass, and Ian on drums. Jeremy plays all the guitars and leaps around a fair bit.

One good example is Julia. They add a little funk to the pop and a little jazz sophistication from the drums.  Cindy also has a swing tempo.

The music is generally spare and not cluttered. Somebody Loves You is the one time they rock out a little.

The drums command throughout the set. On Not Your Friend they thunder with some deep drops.

18 is perfect High School power pop. Would fit nicely on the Ramones’ Rock’n’Roll High School movie soundtrack.

Supercuts has a reggae off-beat. Mexico is another surprise heading into country americana as it goes south of the borderline.

Finishes with an exuberant bedroom indie pop rager, Talk Is Overrated. Let’s just vibe/ And love is overrated in my mind.

Jeremy Zucker and Adam Melchor. It was a great night for the Jersey Boys. Their debut in New Zealand. The crowd loved it, so they promised to be back.

Rev Orange Peel        

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Chris Zwaagdyk

Jeremy Zucker:

Adam Melchor: