Part poet, part '50s teen idol and part ghost, Jeremy Jay begins his debut album by wishing his listeners goodnight, then pulls them into his lovely, haunting world. A Place Where We Could Go -- which might be somewhere between Tinseltown and Neverland -- is a place where girls have "fairytale looks" and candied apples are served for lunch, where dreams, fantasies and movies collide, and where Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly, Morrissey and Alan Vega are loved equally. It's no surprise that Jay calls his hometown of Los Angeles the City of Angels -- he's a true romantic and sensualist, transforming his surroundings into a glamorous, magical reality and giving his songs names that could pass for '50s melodramas. Interestingly, though, A Place Where We Could Go's sound is relatively simple, even stark; Jay sticks with drums, bass, guitar and the occasional piano as the background to his reveries. However, he more than fills up any spaces left by the spare instrumentation, as his earnest, clearly enunciated voice runs from a croon to impassioned spoken word, and his lyrics add even more vivid details ("you'll be wearing a pink dress with black shoes," he sings to his sweetheart on the title track). "Heavenly Creatures" flows on dream logic, starting with Jay's acoustic guitars and declarations of love for a girl before it opens up into drums, a drifting guitar solo, and Jay's love of grace, beauty and memories. "While the City Sleeps" celebrates "dream kisses, danger, romance no one knows" to a walking bass line and finger snaps, but that's more than enough to envision Jay serenading his dream girl from underneath a lamppost. And while Jay's love for the '50s resonates throughout A Place Where We Could Go -- particularly on "Hold Me in Your Arms Tonight," which sounds like a lullaby version of Holly's "Words of Love," and the innocently passionate strut of "Beautiful Rebel" -- it never feels overtly retro. Not only is Jay's take on the sound too surreal to be mistaken for mimicry, he also mixes it with other elements, including fey Anglo-pop on "Till We Meet Again" and strummy '80s college rock on "Escape to Aspen." While it's all extremely theatrical (especially on "Someone Cares" and the untitled hidden track, which both underscore what a big part show tunes played in Jay's musical development), it's also extremely sincere, which makes A Place Where We Could Go so winning. Jay believes in these swooning, smitten songs so much that it's easy to follow his lead to wherever that place might be.