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A Sound Unfound
By Garrett Riggs
The great thing about Jordan Esker is that he doesn’t sound like anybody else. With some musicians, you can do a short-hand review that goes something like this: “The Artic Monkeys sound kind of like the Beatles with a dose of Queen.” Sure, you can hear some echoes of things he’s listened to or nods to musicians Esker respects, but nothing sounds like a carbon copy of someone else.
Esker released Best Supporting Actor in October and he is currently touring with Asheville, North Carolina based band Press. In 2013, Esker and Phil Nettle recorded a CD while their roommates were on vacation. Over the course of a year, friends from Tallahassee, Florida, and elsewhere contributed to the album.
A multi-instrumentalist, Esker plays guitars, bass, keyboards, piano, Hammond organ, drums and percussion on the album as well as singing. Each of the 10 tracks on Best Supporting Actor has layers of sound and surprises. Esker currently lives in Tampa and his music combines Emo, Classic Rock, and Soul with hints of Reggae. Surprisingly, it all works together.
“Not in Love” starts out sounding like a dark funhouse track with its piercing piano and drums. The chorus brings in a kind of ‘60s soul before the song drops into Latin-flavored percussion.
Esker’s songs explore relationships that fall short. The narrator of “Periwinkle” says “It’s too bad we didn’t fall in love yet” as he laments never being able to break down his girlfriend’s emotional walls. In “Forehead” the narrator describes the fumbling kiss a lover places on his forehead and labels it an endearing promise. When things don’t work out, he sings, “Why did you have to be so addicted to new beginnings?”
Even when the lyrics are morose (“I’m always holding a little bit back/As I’m wondering about the love that I’ll get back”), the music is upbeat. On “The Little Bit That Counts” the Florida State University Gospel Choir’s building voices make the words “Nothing comes easy with a straight mind” sound almost joyful.
The song “Exactly” has a swirling organ with a drum and bass combo that infuse the song with some funk and soul. Here is one of the places where you can hear that Esker is a fan of The Band, but the song does not sound like a Band song. It sounds like Jordan Esker.
Download Best Supporting Actor or order the full album at JordanEsker.com.
December Tour Dates:
Tallahassee, FL - Pug Mahone's Live - 12.16
Jacksonville, FL - The Birdhouse - 12.17
Sarasota, FL - Cock & Bull - 12.18
Tampa, FL - Market on 7th - 12.19 (full-band release show for my album)
Orlando, FL - Riley's Pub - 12.20
#Real #SouthernMusic #RetroSound #SixtiesMusic #60sMusic #JordanEsker #SouthernArtists #PressBand #FloridaMusic
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