Jordan Holt – Feral Children EP (Independent)
In 2012, Jordan Holt, a native of Minneapolis, decamped to the plains of South Dakota to spend a year “in reflection and meditation”. His “Feral Children” EP is the direct result of the time he spent away, and the months of tranquility have informed a collection that is both eerie and pensive, and also beautifully peaceful. It’s almost as if weights have been lifted and simple pleasures rediscovered, and the effect on the listener is wholly positive.
Comparisons aren’t easy to fathom. On various websites, names like Ryan Adams, Bon Iver, Bright Eyes and Dylan crop up, but Holt’s new music doesn’t truly fit in with any of those folk. In fact, after some thought, the only record I can think of that I could place alongside “Feral Children” is Arthur Russell’s “World Of Echo”, insofar that both exist in a netherworld of half-heard lyricism and spectral backing - though Russell is very much a product of the avant-garde, while Holt comes from an acoustic folk and Americana tradition.
The five songs presented here are difficult to breakdown into separate entities, but repeated plays expose slight mood adjustments and changes of emphasis. Once it gets under your skin, you’ll be playing it constantly – I know I have. Its autumnal, afterhours feel is enveloping and pervasive, and apart from there being too little of it, it’s a stunning addition to a genre that doesn’t really exist.