Treasured Aussie songwriter Jordan Wilson, of Georgia Fair, has today announced his debut solo single Totem, a moving piece of music reflective of both a past relationship and the sacred process of writing itself, out now. Totem is accompanied by a sweet, nostalgic video, directed by Odin Umeofia. In between launching his solo project, and working on a new Georgia Fair record, Jordan is also set to release a book entitled Some Short, Some Long, in late 2021.
Produced by Daniel Lee Kendall, Totem is a contemplative track, to say the least. It steps outside of the immediacy of heartbreak to analyse the sanctified act of song writing as a healing process, as a reason, as a way to understand thoughts, actions, feelings. Evocative of the brilliant song writing of Aldous Harding and Mark Kozelek, Totem is a layered, masterful piece of music. The gentle, comforting strumming of the acoustic guitar leaves plenty of space for Jordan’s understated yet undeniably moving voice to take centre stage – imploring the audience to really listen to the lyrics. Jordan answers some questions for Hi Fi Way about Totem.
How has the build-up been leading up to the release of your single Totem?
It was a long time coming, this is my first solo single and I have been writing for a long time, so I would say the build up has been incredibly strong. I was stoked with how the video came up so I was buzzing to get it out there.
Was the process of making your single as challenging as you thought?
It was probably more challenging. It feels like new territory for me to record without a band. I had a lot of help from my producer Daniel Lee Kendall, but a lot of the ideas and inspiration came from me. More challenge. more reward, it meant stepping into the unknown and that kept it incredibly alive for me.
Sonically, how would you describe your music?
It’s minimal, poetic and atmospheric.
Who would you consider to be the biggest influence on your music and why?
I would say the author Rachel Cusk. Something about her writing and how she ripped down walls really got to me and challenged me in my writing. She is incredibly piercing and keeps you on edge, whilst making you sigh with relief in her observation at the same time.
Best piece of advice you have been given?
Close your eyes, hold up your hands. Now how do you know that you have hands? The feeling. Get in touch with that feeling.
What is the Jordan Wilson life story?
I had a piano recital when I was about six in front of my whole school. I completely lost the music and had to improvise my way out of it. An older kid came up to me in the hall the next day and said ‘man you really made a mess out of that’ after that I quit classical piano and devoted my life to rock and roll. I’ve never made another mistake since.
Are you looking to tour more broadly?
We’ll see how these vaccines go ay! I can’t wait to get back to Europe and the US, that’s for sure.
What’s next for Jordan Wilson?
I think I will release my next single in September. I also have a book of short stories that I’m releasing in December. I guess that’s kind of like my album at the moment. They’re funny and crazy anecdotes from my life as well as some poems and a longer narrative about life in Melbourne for artists and hospitality workers. It’s called ‘Some Short, Some Long’.
What’s been the biggest change to releasing music this time around compared to when you were in Georgia Fair?Doing it all myself is the biggest, I’ve had great help but at the end of the day the buck falls on me so it’s more pressure for sure. Also for some reason being solo makes me think more about the message I am putting across, something to do with not having a collaboration to hide behind, forces you to be clearer. Not that collaboration is always hiding, just that the cover is there if you want it.
Interview By Rob Lyon