From the Y Crate, #15:
“The Way I Feel” by REMY SHAND (Motown)
This is one of my favourite soul albums of the past 10 years… and the guy responsible for it seems to have vanished without a trace! Clearly I’m not the only person who misses Remy; the What Happen to Remy Shand? (sic) Facebook group has 615 members. And I still haven’t quite figured the ins and outs of how Twitter works, but the fact that @WheresRemyShand? could find and follow me says a lot.
The first track I heard off this album was “Take a Message”. It was 2001; I was in a hotel room in Nashville, and had dozed off in the middle of a documentary about Tupac and Biggie on VH1. The next thing I recall was hearing a sound so awesome, I had to open my eyes and see where it was coming from. Even though I was watching the telly half asleep (or is that half awake? I guess it depends on how optimistic you are), I could tell that all the members of the band in the video I was seeing were the same person. I was also positive that the song I was hearing was one of the most beautiful I’d ever heard. When I’d fully woken up a couple of hours later, I googled the only two words I could remember from my new discovery: “Remy” and “Motown” (mostly to prove to myself that I hadn’t just dreamt the whole episode).
I eventually found a copy of the album, and several tracks from it became firm favourites. “Take A Message” and the psychedelic soul jam “Liberate” are on my iPod’s “Top 25 Most Played” playlist (I’m not going to argue with iTunes; if it says I like them that much, then obviously I do). “The Colour of Day”, “I met Your Mercy”, “Everlasting” – lovely tunes all. And the title track, of course…
If we’re doing the lazy, easy comparison thing, you could call Remy the Canadian Lewis Taylor. But whereas Lewis released half a dozen albums before calling it a day, Remy fell out of sight after just one. A couple of gigs were scheduled to take place at the Jazz Café in 2002; I turned up at the box office to buy a ticket, only to be told the gigs were off. And that was it. Eventually the website went, and now all we have left is a handful of Youtube clips – including a couple purportedly of tracks from a new album (they’re actually bonus tracks that appeared on the UK version of The Way I Feel, but not the US version).
Seriously, someone needs to find this guy and get him out of hiding. Give him whatever he wants and get at least one more album out of him.