Friday night saw the EP release of Mianta – the debut effort from Berlin-based Irish dream-pop songwriter Jordan.
Snugly packed sardine-like into the intimate Noize Fabrik on a curiously sweaty summer evening, my expectations were mixed. Having heard a preview of the record prior to attending the show (a stellar first release, but I digress), I wasn’t sure how well the sound would translate onto a live stage. We’ve all experienced falling in love with a track, only to be bitterly disappointed at its delivery when witnessed in person. Nevertheless, seeing as the EP itself was recorded in the studio-slash-performance space hosting the show, we figured the band would probably understand the acoustics of the venue pretty well, but how the production values would be rendered on stage proved to be something of a question mark.
Support came in the form of Asker’s Dodge frontman Greg Thompson, whose solo endeavour proves that he’s a remarkable songwriter, capable of carrying a performance without the support of his band. Seemingly completely at home on stage, and armed with an impressive back catalogue of both original material and odes to other artists, he’s most definitely one to keep your beady eyes on.
As per usual, my earlier assumptions were totally wrong, with this notable young artist totally and utterly surpassing any presumptions I might have made. Her stagecraft is particularly impressive, especially considering this event stood as her foray into a particularly brutal industry. Sure, at first she appeared a little nervous – but I dare you to find a single musician who carried off their first gig jitter-less. By the third track, she seemed to have relaxed a little, and, from where I was standing, this seemed to go down pretty well with her adoring crowd.
The peculiar setup (involving the bassist and drummer tucked away in fishtank-like fashion in the recording room) by no means acted as a detriment to the performance – if anything, it added another layer of intrigue to the set. Although the rhythm guitar could perhaps have been slightly higher in the mix to combat the battling licks of the lead, overall, the band worked fluidly together, understanding each others patterns and knowing the songs inside-out.
Musically, it’s a solid effort, with honey-drenched vocals beautifully complemented by warm harmonies and rich melodic movement. Her set was peppered with a handful of covers (Arabella was certainly an eyebrow-raiser), but to be honest, her work is strong enough to stand by itself. Admittedly, she might not have enough original material to fill the time just yet, but we’re quietly confident that she’s squirrelling away on something that’ll be just as intriguing as her other works.
Jordan is one of those artists whose future you can almost see flourishing before you – it’s hugely refreshing to watch an artist and know that they’ll still be dropping killer releases five years from now. Keep your eyes peeled for her next concert – egg on your face if you miss it, frankly.