Jordan Klassen has announced details of his new album Javelin, to be released February 19, 2016 on Nevado Music. The follow up to 2013’s acclaimed Repentance, Javelin sees the Vancouver musician depart from the eloquently spare folk of its predecessor, adding ambient and rhythmic elements to vivid Technicolor arrangements in what is his most vibrant and vital album to date. The first single to be taken from the album is Baby Moses, listen via jordanklassen.com
On the recommendation of James Vincent McMorrow—who recorded his 2014 album Post Tropical there— Klassen recorded Javelin at Sonic Ranch studio in Tornillo, just outside El Paso in Texas. He produced the album himself and plays almost all the instruments.
The songs on Javelin spring from hard experiences—namely, from Klassen’s struggle with depression and his mother’s diagnosis with breast cancer, now thankfully in remission. Despite the fears and despairs that motivated these songs, there is always a kernel of hope illuminating the music from the inside. Klassen found inspiration—a patron saint, of sorts—in an unlikely figure. “The record is a nod to the ‘90s New Age music that I grew up with,” he says. “My mom was really into Enya, and I wanted to explore some of those sounds in a very modern way. I wanted to really embrace ethereality.”
These ten songs, among the most confidently and imaginatively arranged Jordan Klassen has ever recorded, engage the past, reassess recollections and impressions, turn failures not into successes but lessons for the future. That much is evident from the opening track, “Glory B,” which percolates with barely contained energy: disembodied vocals shouting encouragement, jittery percussion providing a potent backbeat, swirl of clicks and thrums that build into a clear-eyed epiphany. At the center of this pop conflagration, Klassen’s vocals remain calm, perhaps even contented, as he delivers the chorus like a fanfare: “Hold your memory up to the light, memory up to the light.”
It’s not hard to hear echoes of Orinoco Flow or Caribbean Blue in the soft-focus thrum of Miles, even the delicate overlay of instruments on We Got Married, even the whispered valedictory of Smoking Too Long.
Jordan Klassen will be touring the UK and Europe throughout January and February.