Vancouver’s Jordan Klassen’s follow-up to the excellent Repentance is the even more excellent Javelin. Jordan’s style is maturing into something more than your average indie folk sound. If you need an idea on how this album sounds: just picture Jordan singing with DeVotchKa and Enya. Yeah, I said Enya and I meant that in a good way.
I’ve been a fan of Jordan’s for a few years now and got a chance to film a session with him 3 years ago when Repentance came out. His falsetto singing style is just so different or at least what I usually listen to. He seems to have gone in a different direction with Javelin and I think for the better. Instead of indie folk like you hear in Repentance, this album is mixed in with other genres like New Age. Jordan uses some instruments he hasn’t used before on previous albums, or at least that’s how it sounds to me.
The album starts off with “Glory B” which has Jordan’s soft singing blended in with some synth motifs and drumming. The track has elements of a Peter Gabriel tune in there as well. “Gargoyles” seems like a song that could have been on Repentance. The song is filled with string instruments and subtle female howling/wooing from Jocelyn Price (I think)? In any event, I love the song.
“No Salesman” is a slower song but again, another stand-out. I don’t think the song would work as well if it wasn’t for Jordan’s distinctive singing. The string instruments surface again and add another layer to the song. Part of the chorus “I love you more, I love you more…” pulls at the heartstrings a little. For now something completely different, the best track on the album is “Baby Moses.” It’s the track that would most likely be featured on the radio or in commercials. It’s the catchiest and most indie sounding as well. When I heard it for the first time, I had to listen to it again immediately after. The only thing I would have cut out would be the guitar solo, which just seems out of place.
The back part of the album is just as good with tracks like “St Fraser,” “Delilah” and “Light in the Evening.” “Delilah” is a somber song about Jordan’s Mom going through chemo for Breast Cancer. Before I knew anything about the track or listened closely to the lyrics, I was tearing up listening to this track. I was thinking of my late-Father who died of Cancer but now it all makes sense to me. On a more lighter note, when I bring up Enya, the track that comes to mind is “Light in the Evening.” I’m a fan of Enya so when I heard this track, that’s the first thing that came to mind. As soon as it starts, it’s got that 90s New Age feel to it with the soft female humming and synthesisers. It’s another favorite of mine on the album.
10 tracks in total and wish the album was a little longer. That’s about the only minor nitpick that I have for the album. Other than that, this album is pretty flawless to me. I love to listen to this in the morning on my way to work. Quiet but not boring that it will put me to sleep. I’ve been looking forward to hearing new album from Jordan for 3 years and now that’s it’s finally here, I couldn’t be happier. I can’t wait to hear what Jordan comes up with for the next album.
Bottom Line: One of my favorite albums of 2016 already
Notable Tracks: Gargoyles, No Salesman, Baby Moses, Delilah, Light in the Evening