woensdag 17 februari 2016

Javelin. Jordan Klassen

Every once in a while a cd drops into my letter box. For some reason often from acts with a Canadian background. It is more rare that this cd is of a timeless beauty. Jordan Klassen (related to speedskater Cindy?) produced just such a cd with Javelin. The fact that it comes close to one of the best albums of 2015, City and Colour's 'If I Should Go Before You', is as telling as I can make it.

Jordan Klassen works from Vancouver on Canada's south-west coast. The album was recorded in the splendid isolation of Texas' rural country. Here Klassen could work hard and without too much distraction going on. In fact, except for some non-specified help, he played all instruments and produced the record himself there. Javelin is his second album after 'Repentance' (2014).

That beauty and inspiration often comes to musicians from hardship is proven by this album once again. Struggling with his own inner demons, next to a seriously ill mother, Jordan Klassen produced an album of ethereal beauty. An album so light and soft it almost makes me ticklish, were it not so serious in tone.

Javelin reminds me of another artist living on the Pacific coast, but somewhat further south. Patrick Joseph is capable of producing the same dreamy music with a quality like Jordan Klassen's. 'Moon King' is an album worth checking out if you like this album.

Javelin touches me instantly and I can exactly pinpoint to moments in the music where this happens. In the song 'Gargoyles' his voice goes down a few notes and this mood settles over me that hooks me to the song immediately. I am sucked in and start hearing all these small details, being brought into a state of a pleasant form of hyper attention. The violins, the background vocals, the rimshot percussion.

Promo Photo
With the single 'Baby Moses' the mood is lifted somewhat. The high tone, the softly, somewhat staccato played violins, the "weird" solo, all imply a playfulness that is allowed into Javelin. There's no need to think that this song would seem misplaced on a radio station playing the Ed Sheeran's of this world. In fact 'Baby Moses' would fit in nicely.

'We Got Married' is this dreamy song, which seems so utterly romantic, but when I started listening to the lyrics, things rather changed. The creepy sounds at the end are much better to understand once I did. Something seems to have gone terribly wrong on that boat in the bay. It is probably the wrong word to use, but there's humour on this song.

The only song I do not really like on Javelin is the calypso influenced 'St. Frazer'. A bit too light for this album. Rhythmically not a part of the rest, so standing out a bit.

What I do not hear, is the Enya connection the bio makes. Unless it is that undefined sort of atmosphere humming in the background of this production. Otherwise I truly have no clue. There's another voice, male, singing high also, that keeps eluding me, that I'm reminded of a few times on Javelin. Perhaps the name will come to me before publication and if later, I will let you know.

Listening to Javelin I am convinced that Klassen made the right choice to move to Texas for a while and record his second record there. Javelin is a triumph of musicianship, songwriting and arranging. Time I stop writing and you start listening if you haven't done so already.


You can listen to 'Baby Moses' here:


or buy on Bol.Com

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