"Sharp lyrics, great attitude and a seemingly unstoppable momentum behind him - what's not to like?" - Tom Robinson BBC 6 Music Introducing.
"I think we've found Manchester's answer to Jake Bugg" - Michelle Hussey BBC Introducing Manchester
At a time when lyricism in pop music is so often reduced to nothing more
than inane rhyme schemes and vapid odes to no one in particular, the
emergence of Jordan Allen comes as a long overdue breath of fresh
Performing under the name of their silver-tongued frontman, the budding new band have already attracted attention for Jordan's ability to spit razor-sharp lyrical couplets at a pace that would leave fellow wordsmiths like Jamie T and Alex Turner all tied-up. But under the guise of a new full band set up and a wealth of dynamite new tracks up their sleeves, Jordan Allen are already beginning to leave the comparisons in a cloud of dust as they hurtle in an exciting new direction all their own into 2016.
Harking from Bolton, Greater Manchester, their front man and song writer
Jordan began writing while still at school where he first
penchant for a poem. An introduction to the work of punk poet and local
hero John Cooper Clarke, would furthermore convince him of the
of social commentary and narrative in poetry. Before long he began to
amass a back catalogue of lyrics written with edge, intellect and most
of all - meaning.
Throwing into the mix the indie boom of the mid-noughties, Jordan had all he needed to begin coupling the frenetic flow of his words to crashing electric guitars, taking inspiration from the early sounds of The Streets, Franz Ferdinand, White Stripes and The Libertines.
Making his mark with a series of head-turning indie singles including the bile-soaked 'Rich & Famous', the fuzzed-up thrills of 'Remembered', and the punch-packing 'Set In Stone', it didn't take long for Allen's sounds to resonate with some familiar faces. With the BBC and XFM having cottoned on early, plus rock icon and 6music tastemaker in residence Tom Robinson professing his love for Allen's unique "swagger and attitude" and a public nod of approval from Northern brethren The Happy Mondays, even Allen's earliest recordings scored instant kudos throughout the industry.
However, in 2015, gears of change began to whirr into motion in the Jordan Allen camp. Hitting a rich seam of song writing inspiration, the 21 year old bunkered himself up in Peter Gabriel's stardom-steeped Real World Studios with production guru Steve Osborne (Happy Mondays, New Order, U2, Doves, KT Tunstall) and began writing with an expanded set up in mind. With over 20 new songs inked-in, a brand new body of work ready for an all new band set to perform under a moniker of the same name, began to rapidly take shape. Now at the band's disposal, the multitude of songs from these prolific sessions is already well underway and in the pipeline for release later in 2016.
Combining his abilities as a natural raconteur and savvy singer-songwriter, Jordan uses poetry as a mechanism to tell stories. With an idea in mind, Jordan believes in capturing its essence and emotion before the spontaneous creative spark that has conjured it has had a chance to dim. Talking about the creative process, he said:
"It's always story telling that forms the songs. Sometimes you might hit upon a nice couplet, but the majority of the time it all falls together by itself, almost. I'll normally put the lyrics together in 10 - 15 minutes and then they'll very rarely change after - you need to tell the story how it is. It's important to write off the cuff, people so often over think things, the lyrics and the delivery needs to be natural not laden with pretence."
With a knack for wry observation and a dry wit, Jordan's lyrics are always intended to be written and heard as vignettes, each constructed around a core of personal experience. But a little older and a little wiser, Jordan promises the forthcoming material released under the new full band outlook will be darker than anything we've heard before. The much anticipated new material sees the band's chief songwriter waxing lyrical about dingy Leeds clubs, the backstreets of Bolton, drugs, coming of age and more, all underpinned with a steely sense of reality.
And it's not just the lyrics that are evolving. Under the wing of Osborne, Jordan Allen are confident they are embarking in a new and exciting direction that may surprise fans of the frontman's earlier work. Taking inspiration from the glowering presence of Lou Reed, glam-era Bowie and the grit of 70s punk, Jordan Allen believe they are on to a deeper, more powerful sound that will separate them from the pack.
Discussing how the musical output has changed, Jordan said:
"I've been forging my own style for a long time now. It'd be nice to finally get away from the Jake Bugg and Arctic Monkeys comparison. The songs we've written are really fresh and strong. At the risk of sounding a bit arrogant.,the new music's not even in the same ballpark as my earlier material. I've got a legendary producer on board who genuinely loves what we're doing and has allowed us to develop a really unique sound and I can't wait to show people what we're all about over the next number of months. I'm not here to save guitar music' I just want to write some great tunes and hopefully inspire a few kids to pick up a guitar and write instead of standing behind a set of decks playing someone else's music"
While their roots may be in the indie genre, Jordan Allen are dedicated to their passion for a good pop song. Convinced that a powerful lyrical mainframe is at the heart of every great record, the kernels of creation for each track they write are sourced fundamentally from Jordan's poetry initially. Confident that their poetical prowess is the secret weapon for the band's future storming of the charts, Jordan explains:
"There's no doubt guitar music has lost its edge, you've just got the same bands reusing the same ideas again and again and again .Hopefully by injecting that element of poetry and a focus on strong lyrical narratives mixed into the formula, people will begin to see something fresher. You can't be afraid to write good pop songs, because there's too much crap pop music about at the moment."
Whilst the written responsibilities have always been solely in the hands of the band's namesake, 2016 has seen a confident consolidation of their line up as Danny Quin (Guitar), Kieran Loughran (Bass) and Nathan Howard (drums) collectively align to re-emerge with a full band incarnation: Jordan Allen. With their four-pronged attack, Jordan Allen believe they can truly do justice to the more expansive sound the new songs were always written to be performed with. Over the last few years, Jordan himself has become a regular on the gig circuit in Manchester and around the Northwest with live accolades including crowd-winning sets at Kendall Calling, The Etihad Stadium and Bolton's Macron Stadium; but now prepare for a Jordan Allen like you've never seen or heard before....
In 2016, Jordan Allen will release 6 new tracks in the coming months and
will be hitting the road for a series of live shows throughout the year.
Watch this space!
|29 Apr 17||Live at Leeds||Leeds, UK|