Born in Nazareth, Israel to Australian expats and raised on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, songwriter and record producer Jordi White began his solo project in late 2016 with the release of I’ll See Her Again which was shortlisted for the prestigious Vanda & Young song writing competition. Influenced by a range of sounds from the Killers to Coldplay and Brian Eno, White spent most of 2017 recording and producing his debut album with his band, whilst playing a few live shows supporting Letters to Lions and Zefereli.
White’s knack for capturing moments and expressing honest thoughts through lyrics allows people to feel elements of their own life inside each song. Couple this with an anthemic sound and hooky melodies cultivated in a not so secret love for pop music and you have Old Cities. White answers a few questions for Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles.
Where did the name “Old Cities” come from?
The idea for this name is two-fold. Firstly, White was born in Nazareth, Israel to Australian parents who were ex-pats at the time. The suburb of the hospital he was born in is called “the Old City”.
Secondly Old Cities is a concept based around a metaphor for life, with each moment in life falling into two major categories… The moments or “Cities” we restore, show off, tell and retell stories of, and the moments or “Cities” we let lie in ruin and hope no one ever stumbles upon. However if you study history you realise that even those “Old Cities” that now lie in ruins have stories that could fill pages of life, love and loss.
How does the recording process work for Old Cities?
We recorded drums, pianos and some guitars for the entire album up at the Grove studio in Mangrove. It’s an epic spot, in the middle of nowhere and super quiet. The rest of the recordings were done in various places, a little studio I rent out in Oxford Falls, my house, random AirBnb’s in Europe. All the production, vocals, pianos were done by myself (Jordi), guitars were recorded by Mitch McDonough, bass – Nik Karlin & drums – James Dear.
What’s in store for 2018?
There is a lot in store for 2018. We have three singles to drop before June and a six track EP in July. Another two singles, and a second six track EP are in store for the second half of the year. All has been written and recorded just in final production and mix stages now. On top of that I’ve been writing with a whole bunch of different artists, so there may be a few collaborative projects in the pipeline too.
Biggest inspirations on Old Cities?
Coldplay & U2 have got to be some of our biggest inspirations. They are iconic and still maybe amazing stuff after all theses year. Our other influences cover a range of genres including Briano Eno & Nil Frahm on the more instrumental and experimental side of things, Gang of Youths of the rockier stuff, and LANY for our pop’ier tracks.
Biggest musical achievement to date?
In late 2016 our debut single I’ll See Her Again was shortlisted for APRA’s Vanda & Young’s songwriting competition. We were honoured to be placed alongside incredible artists such as the Paper Kites, Tash Sultana and Jarryd James.
Favourite bits of gear?
My Prophet Rev 2 is my favourite instrument purchase to date. So many incredible sounds and things you can do on that synth. It’s a machine. My UE11 in ears headphones are a treat too. And in terms of studio gear and plugin’s Native instruments Konkt and Steven slates virtual mix rack are my fav at the moment.
Interview by Rob Lyon
For more info about Old Cities head to their official website.