Listening to his voice, you’d be forgiven for thinking it belonged to a veteran soul singer from decades past. Yet rather than dusky bars in America’s deep south, you’re more likely to find Jordan Max this side of the Atlantic, in the unsuspecting town of Oldham. While his backstory reads like a romantic tale of a man finding his love for music, for Jordan it’s all about keeping his feet firmly on the ground by way of his upfront lyrics and dark, moving sound.
The growling piano introduction and crisp drumbeat provide the perfect backdrop for ‘Hell’, the latest brooding number from the 23 year old singer-songwriter. Written from his bedroom, the track perfectly exemplifies his blend of stirring neo-soul, which has seen him gain the attention from all corners of the industry in recent months.
Just like Jordan’s voice, the accompanying video for ‘Hell’ is gritty, rustic, and wholly authentic: the people you see are all his friends or Oldham locals, and the inspiration for the visuals comes from real events. Directed by HECTOR, we’re led around the area, from a boxing club to a butchers shop via back alleys and estates. Bathed in grey, the visuals reflect the grim reality of life, yet they still maintain a tangible sense of energy and personality. Towards the end of the video, the guys are seen bringing a piano back to Jordan’s flat – just like in real life. Jordan first decided to experiment with music after watching Ray, and soon after, he and his friends went to pick up an old piano that someone in the area was giving away. It was with that piano that he learnt how to play music, and it was with that piano that he wrote his debut EP, paying beautiful homage to where it all began.
The EP, titled Only One Is King, landed at the end of March and marks an impressive beginning to what will no doubt be a fruitful career. Yet something tells us that, no matter how far he inevitably goes, Jordan Max will never forget his roots.
Watch the video for ‘Hell’ below. Download Only One Is King here.