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“Loss, longing and thankfulness”: Jordy Maxwell runs us through his Honest EP

Perth based Jordy Maxwell has quickly cemented himself in our hearts with his raw, stripped back narratives of love, loss and recovery. Following this utterly magnetic set of singles, Jordy takes us track by track through his simply beautiful Honest EP.

“The Honest EP is a raw and very personal collection of songs that stem from a disconsolate time emotionally with each song delivered with sincerity and heartfeltness. Songs of loss, longing and thankfulness for those around us.” 

Jordy Maxwell takes us through the waves of emotion that come with loss, and the raw, evocative roots of his stunning Honest EP.

This was my first EP and my first time in a studio. My producer, Andy Lawson asked me what I wanted from the EP, and I said ‘I want it to be raw and honest’. After every vocal recording, we kept repeating the word “Honest”. There was no other name for the EP after that.

See You Again

See You Again was the earliest song of the Honest EP that I wrote. It was inspired by a poem about wanting to see someone for one last goodbye even though the whole thought of it would be a terrible idea.

Although, when writing the song, the main theme behind the song was wanting to see someone you know you will never see again. The struggle and the fight inside your head that comes with thinking about the next time you lay eyes on someone that you used to know so well.

“Dancing with devils, sleeping with monsters.”

Since playing the song live over a year, it has become a very emotionally driven song for audiences with a lot of people, after a show, opening up on personal loss in their lives.

This song originally was very upbeat as I was only new to the music scene, I didn’t want people to think I was sad. But after playing the song with my friend on the violin, the song turned into a slow burning, heartfelt reflection.

Mother

Growing up with just my mum, I never really openly talked about anything negative with her (I still don’t), life was pretty good and I’m always thankful for that. Mother is me feeling sorry for my mum that she had to see me down and out, as for the best part of my life I’m often characterised by positivity and humour.  

I was an electrician for 10 years before I started writing music, and it was during a time where I was so lost, about to turn 28 that she knew writing, singing and performing for an audience was an outlet for me to express myself, and the whole idea of owning a house and being safe financially didn’t matter to me.

I took my notepad to the skatepark while my friend skated. This melody was in my head for about 3 days straight, I had to write something.

“So lately I’ve been talking to my mother, I told her I don’t want to be alone”

This was the first thing I wrote down, the song flowed from there, focusing on wanting to live simply and be thankful for the life I have.

Mountains

This is a song about life being short, that nothing lasts forever. There will be people in our lives that we will never see again, but we let our lives carry on whatever way we can. It’s about running far away from what keeps us down.

Won’t you get back home

This is a line in the song that is not literal, it’s the people close to you, your friends, family, crying out for you to feel better and be the person they love, they want you to come back.

I had written the lyrics to the song but didn’t have a chorus. I went to Michael Dunstan’s house, where he wanted to show me his new amp, coincidentally I was playing his acoustic on the lounge, as he plugged in the electric guitar, and he started playing a riff that later became my favourite part of the whole Honest EP. 

This wasn’t even a planned jam! So with the addition of Keeley Connolly’s unplanned, beautiful female vocals, the song just seemed to all of a sudden come together out of nowhere.

Blue Eyes

This song was never going to be recorded until my friend, Jade, who plays the violin with me, told me “This is the kind of song I’d listen to on repeat”. I realised at that point, that this song wasn’t just for me, it’s a song for those not afraid to leave it all behind to travel, explore and experience a whole different world.

The song is written from the perspective of being the one left behind, but finding the positive feeling that the person you once wanted to make so happy, is now actually happy and free.

I never knew and still don’t know where the girl with “Blue Eyes” is, but I became aware through a close friend of hers, she was living in a coastal town on the opposite side of Australia.

It became apparent this was something she wanted to do with or without me. The second verse is very powerful for me, it reminds me of a moment on a beach where it started raining as I was overcome with the emotion of realising everything in the past was gone and never to happen again again.

The song is very subjective and can be listened to with a sad outlook or that of a positive one. I personally take it as a positive, that she’s somewhere dancing by the ocean

Listen to the Honest EP below!

Postcards

Written 2 days after finishing the Honest EP, I’d been made redundant at work, and got a $104 payout. I asked Mum if there were any jobs I could do around the house for $20 as I was now officially just a musician.

When I cleaned out my old garage and found a box full of old CDs, magazines, and photos. I also found postcards that were sent to me four years earlier from a girl who had bought a one-way ticket to Hawaii.

At the time I was a bit vulnerable and couldn’t give my all to her while she was away, and I’d been hurt by distance before. Even though I treated the situation wrong, every 2 weeks a postcard was sent to me. Four years later in my garage, I stood alone and thought about how much I’d give just to get one more.

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October 10, 2018