Memphis garage rocker Jay Reatard, who broke out last year thanks to Watch Me Fall, has died at the age of 29, Reatard’s label Matador Records confirmed. According to Memphis’ Commercial Appeal, Reatard was found dead in his Memphis home at 3:30 am this morning and reportedly died in his sleep. “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,” Matador Records said in a statement. “We’re honored to have known and worked with him, and we will miss him terribly.” Watch Reatard perform “Blood Visions” last month in Atlanta in the video above.
“Since 1998’s Teenage Hate, Memphian Jay “Reatard” Lindsey, 29, has spit enough pissed-off, low-fi garage punk to become DIY royalty,” Will Hermes wrote in his three-and-a-half star review of Watch Me Fall. “There’s also choral sugar, dub effects, sweet guitar cascades and mad hooks. On the majestic closer, alongside a sad cello, he insists, ‘There is no sun.’ With sound this blazingly bright, who needs it?”
In 2008, Beck recruited Reatard to record a cover of Modern Guilt’s “Gamma Ray” for the B side of that song’s single. For last year’s Record Store Day, Reatard’s “Hang Them All” was featured on a split 7” with Sonic Youth’s “No Garage.” Reatard also recently opened for the Pixies during their run of Doolittle concerts. On their Facebook page, the Pixies wrote “We want to express our condolences to the friends and family of Jay Reatard, on his sudden passing today.”