jordan-hoban

Jordan Hoban has been making music for a while now, and the Charlotte area artist/songwriter/auditory world creator possesses the gift of expressing himself clearly at uncanny levels for a rising musician, even when the music he makes comes across as decidedly minimal. Hoban’s new LP, Songs of Loss, comes from a deeply personal realm after losing someone close to him. While the LP features many pieces that take influence from an array of genres, it’s “Song 6” that serves as a stand out for how meticulous his craft and attention to detail is.

As you’ll read from our interview with Hoban, the song comes from a private space that cannot be easily elaborated on. Gripping in its minimalism, “Song 6” is Hoban’s voice and a piano with faint, ethereal auxiliary. The song is observant and heartbreakingly forthright in how he still experiences the one who has been lost.

We knew that, after hearing Songs of Loss, we wanted to speak with the multi-talented artist about the album, but also about who he was a creator. Hoban was kind enough to take the time to answer our questions, and it’s a glimpse at a man who is constantly looking ahead while still managing life after tragedy.

Just to catch everyone up on your background – how long have you been creating, and how did you first get into making music?

I’ve been making music since I was 17. I actually learned some Cat Stevens on guitar, then picked out the chords I liked the most and turned them into my own songs.

It’s hard to pinpoint your sound exactly. There seems to be clear folk and house/production/electronic influences – what’s it like to interweave those two genres, and do you have a method to converge those two?

It’s not something I actively think about. If anything it’s more akin to stream of consciousness writing within a specific context. The songs lend themselves to a forward progression, like building a story. I tend to think of all media as having the essential structure of a good film or novel. And because it’s context specific, the next album will not sound the same as this one.

Regarding the LP, we know it was created under extremely difficult circumstances. If you feel like opening up about, how did you get through that and find the right space to create it in?

I lost someone I really cared about, and this album is the direct result of that loss. It was an outpouring, and when I couldn’t find the right words to fit my grief into, I turned to music. One thing that I can say about music is that when I’m at my lowest, when it feels like the ground below me is getting ready to give, songs come to me, and, if nothing else, they cushion the fall.

“Song 6” is profoundly moving in ways that are difficult to describe, especially with the tracking. Is there a particular moment or story to the track that you don’t mind discussing?

All I can say is that this track is the culmination of a lot of walks in the park.

The tracks on the LP don’t have names outside of “Song __.” We can’t help but be fascinated by this decision, so what was the decision like to make those the song titles?

Honestly, I couldn’t think of what to name them. And I’m sure I’m the only person who feels this way, but naming these songs felt like the tritest of the trite. It was always in my head to keep them untitled, and originally I was going to make the album one track without breaks (which still exists since I am only releasing it on cassette), but my friend Daniel Hodges, who mixed the album, urged me to do otherwise. There’s this fabulous Max Richter record, Recomposed, and in it each individual piece in a suit is titled numerically (Spring 0, Spring 1, etc.), which turned into the final inspiration for my decision.

Charlotte is a city that, for as long as I’ve been keeping tabs on it for fifteen years now, keeps changing and evolving. Does that shift in cultural dynamic influence your music, and if so, how?

Not very much. I live outside of the city and for the most part lead a fairly private life. I notice the changes in the city, some not for the best, and I’d be disingenuous if I said that where I live didn’t influence me. However, I can’t pinpoint in exactly what way. I will say, an artist friend of mine pointed out that it makes sense that so many of us tend to be DIY in a city known for its banks.

The musical climate there is ever growing and diverse as well. What’s it like to be a part of a young, vibrant community like that?

It’s inspiring that so many of the listeners are open to letting me do essentially whatever I want when I perform. And they seem to be receptive as well.

Finally, what do you have coming up as far as your music goes? Shows, any mini-tours, release events, etc.?

My friend and fellow musician Victor F. Glass and I are planning a mini-tour of the South East, starting at the end of October. And, of course, October 1st I will start selling Songs of Loss on its website (available here: Songs of Loss).