By Lauren Wisbeski of Indie Band Guru
Jordan Klassen is a folk artist originally from Vancouver, British Columbia. His latest work, Javelin, was recorded just outside of El Paso, Texas. Just a reminder that music transcends most things, including geography. Javelin is filled with tracks that feel supernatural and speak to humankind’s shared origins.
Klassen has explained that during the time he was writing Javelin, he was experiencing some intense and challenging emotions, including depression and whatever other confusing jumble of feelings he faced as his mother was diagnosed and treated for cancer (side-note: after chemotherapy, her illness is now in remission).
Jordan Klassen Finds Strength and Beauty in Pain
Through his music, Klassen takes us on his journey. We are able to vicariously experience his pain, uncertainty, and optimism for a better tomorrow. His songs are emotive and stirring while maintaining a feeling that’s upbeat and hopeful. I thoroughly enjoyed his seemingly positive outlook on life as a whole.
“Glory B” starts us off with a kind of tribal sound. The lyrics reference roots and familial ties, which forces listeners to ponder the interconnectedness of human life as well as our connection to the earth.
I appreciate the soothing, reassuring beats and feel very involved in Klassen’s journey thanks to the the sensation of communion this song evokes.The theme of harmony persists throughout the entire album. We are continually reminded of our inherent connections to our planet and to each other.
A few tracks on is “No Salesman.” This track starts off in a much slower, stripped down fashion, just Klassen and a delicately fingerpicked guitar. Over the course of nearly 5 minutes additional elements — vocals, bass, strings, percussion, and so on — kick in, building up to a magnificent and lush climax.
Immediately following that is “Baby Moses,” another very different tune. Gorgeous strings, staccato drums, and sparse grumbling bass start it off. The choruses leap, crescendos of rock ready sound with twittering electronic touches.
Critics have classified Klassen’s subgenre of folk as “fairy-folk.” I don’t really know what that is supposed to mean but, as a fan of a number of varying genres, I do appreciate the contrast this music has with other, perhaps more popular types.
This isn’t some angsty guy complaining about how unfair his life is. Rather, it’s a man experimenting on how to reach a specific destination: a future that will be more spiritually fulfilling than the present.
Every one of Klassen’s songs feels godly, as though Klassen is really trying to connect with a higher power — one that can relieve him of his depression or his mother of her cancer — more so than with us as an audience. Personally, I don’t have a problem with this, because we reap the benefits anyway.
I highly recommend listening to Jordan Klassen. You can check out Javelin and more from him here.