Jay Reatard

Acclaimed indie rocker Jay Reatard has died at age 29. His label, Matador Records, confirmed his passing in an online post: “We are devastated by the death of Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., aka Jay Reatard. Jay was as full of life as anyone we’ve ever met, and responsible for so many memorable moments as a person and artist. We’re honored to have known and worked with him, and we will miss him terribly.” Details on the manner and cause of his death were not immediately available, but one newspaper is reporting that he was found dead at home in Memphis at 3:30 this morning.

This awful news is doubly tragic because of where Jay was in his career. 2010 should have been a banner year for him. After years of building buzz for his releases on tiny labels, the prolific Memphis native had recently signed with big-time indie Matador Records, which released his excellent LP Watch Me Fall last August. That record’s blend of punk attitude and indelible melodies won him many rave reviews, including one published in EW. In that review, I called Watch Me Fall “a bravura performance that ought to win this blog favorite the widespread recognition his songcraft deserves.” It was clear from an outside listener’s perspective that Jay’s songwriting was evolving at an exponential rate, and it’s simply too sad for words that we’ll never get to hear what he would have done next.

We at the Music Mix extend our genuine condolences to the friends and family of this talented artist. Please share your thoughts and memories of Jay Reatard in the comments section below.

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