Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Jordan Raycroft - Self Titled Debut Album Review

I first heard Jordan Raycroft perform within my first fortnight in Canada as a fresh-faced frost-bitten exchange student in the University town of Guelph. A small and somewhat non-descript town in Ontario can appear pretty bleak in the middle of Winter, so while escaping the cold I came across an open mic night on campus and Jordan was one of the hosts. His sound check alone blew the majority of other acts out of the water.  After conquering much of Eastern Canada in recent years, he is about to set out on a tour of everywhere in between Guelph and the Pacific Ocean alongside the release of his self titled debut album.

His voice and style shadows fellow Canadian Dallas Green of City and Colour as well as sharing a similar musical background: proving that providing screamo songwriters with acoustic guitars is an almost logical combination. Jordan was bitten by the performing bug when he serendipitously ended up in his high school's production of "Anything Goes" after volunteering at football practice. Like a true all-rounder Jordan is nearing the end of his studies in Criminal Law but the jury's out on whether he'll  really need that back-up career.

On the debut album the raw soulful tone of his voice compliments tracks such as "Letters" and Dingoes" which express the pain of love when it is lost. Although I am a sucker for a sad guy in the corner with a guitar, the album has another side to it with several crowd-pleasers that will give you repetitive strain from tapping your feet; "We the People" and "Cold Hands" being the most infectious earworms. At only 21 years old he shows sophistication and versatility in his musical ability and pin-point accuracy in his lyrics to bare his soul to the listener - a true talent, demonstrating skills beyond what his age and experience should suggest.

The album was by no means a solo project with the help from donations from his already stable fan base and the growing number of emerging young musicians in Guelph. Rose Brokenshire provides harmonies which melt effortlessly together with Jordan's - most notably on "Amazon Woman" - and Graham Mclaughlin provides accompaniment on any instrument thrown at him to add another dimension to each song on the album. A somewhat accidental flirt with music and performance has thrived to produce an impressive debut record showcasing a true authentic talent which should not go unnoticed.

Jordan Raycroft's debut album is available worldwide on itunes here or if you catch him on tour you can get a shiny hardcopy!

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