Last week saw Brisbane-based songwriter Jordan Merrick release his debut album titled Night Music.
After teasing us with three incredible singles, the record does not disappoint. Ten thoughtfully curated tracks take listeners on a journey which transcends the barriers of genre.
The highly anticipated release by Jordan Merrick ventures through blues, folk, rock, country and even unique elements of vaudeville.
Recorded and produced by the ARIA-winning Steven Schram, what stands out most about Merrick’s debut album were the many diverse ways that raw emotion exudes out of each and every track.
The record sees Merrick take twists and turns with his delivery, moving between stories that radiate happiness and love to ideas of loneliness, despair and sorrow.
Speaking about the album, Merrick stated:
“The title Night Music is a play off the Mozart song Eine Kleine Nachtmusik which translates to ‘A Little Night Music’. I’ve always felt drawn to classical for its ability to tell stories through the raw emotion of music. Night Music serves as a way to explore contrasting mediums and tell stories that are different in nature, yet linked in their human, vulnerable nature.”
Previously released tracks, Dangerously Sincere and Low Country, already boast Merrick’s versatility as he swings between various tones and moods with ease, painting vivid imagery through his lyrics. Merrick is not shy when it comes to sharing the darkness he has experienced, but also shares moments of happiness and words of wisdom paired with upbeat sounds filled by soul.
Record Time is a standout moment which sees Merrick experiment with a slide guitar to significant effect. It’s a sweet, gentle and upbeat track that features the beautiful female vocals of Amela, exploring the idea of new understandings and new beginnings. What makes Record Time even stronger is the way it so starkly contrasts to the following track, Dark Night, which takes a sinister turn with ominous undertones accentuated by a wailing organ, creeping keys, and Merrick’s melancholy growl.
The Toll shows a shift in tone yet again, featuring singer-songwriter Leonie Kingdom. This track picks up the pace with an upbeat chorus worth moving to, again in contrast to the more sombre verses.
A European Love Song is a beautifully simple acoustic guitar and vocal ballad painting the picture of long-distance love inspired by Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Meanwhile, Six Read Chairs is a powerful track which boasts the poetic nature of Merrick’s lyrics. The simplicity of this song, combined with thoughtful harmonies, makes you want to spin this one again as soon as it concludes.
Hades and The Attic is raw and brutally honest, making listeners feel Merrick’s tearing pain, emphasised by a slowly building rhythm which mimics a pounding heart. This track demonstrates the expressive nature of Merrick’s songwriting as he explores every corner and crevice of his mind, leaving no tabled unturned, and pouring everything out for the world to see.
I Don’t Belong closes the album with a cool, bluesy sound and deep growling vocals. Night Music in its totality is diverse and all-consuming; a brilliant record on its first spin and no doubt, a brilliant record to anyone who revisits it in the years to come.
Night Music is out now.