Ireland has proved to be a reliable source of female singer/songwriter talent through the decades and it’s no surprise to hear of another talented newcomer. Also known as being one half of Selk, Dublin’s Anna Jordan has ow stepped out on her own with a debut EP which marries folk and jazz music with unexpected moments of electronica.
The opening title track is definitely not one that can be ignored. Lyrically, it contains little more than the line “Gonna tear it all apart, as it chips away my heart” but the increasing angst of Jordan’s delivery is captivating. The vocals are part piano balladeer, part jazz singer but all around her is the kind of production which certainly falls outside the usual singer/songwriter domain, with clipped and chattering beats bringing the song into the modern age.
For the comparatively traditional ‘Air That You Breathe’, Jordan dispenses with the beats but her wounded sparrow tones are given full flight for this lovelorn yet never cloying multi-part folk song. ‘She Dances’ shows further thirst for experimenting, with Jordan harmonising against her own vocal loops in a peculiarly addictive pop song; calling to mind the playfulness of Anja Garbarek. So this just leaves ‘Silent Sea’; a desolate and elegantly performed song which strips the music back again to just Jordan and her piano and she delivers a wonderfully understated performance.
‘Dust’ is a delightful beginning for Anna Jordan. Her willingness to try out new techniques marks her out as an original, adventurous performer with more than just a great voice and a sad tale to tell. It will be fascinating to hear what her next release sounds like.
Anja Garbarek, Beth Gibbons