Steady jobs and stable ground are hard to come by these days for many, but artists like despAIR Jordan find inspiration in the calamity of an introverted world. Like many artists, despAIR Jordan is finding the silver linings of 2020 and is using its limitations as a guiding catalyst for creativity.
With no singles released beforehand, Before Your Wings Gave Out, the group’s debut, entered the world on January 20. The four-man supergroup of sorts is new as a collective, but not to the music scene. Matty Clark (bassist) and Josh Friedman (guitar and vocals) worked together previously in Sleeperhorse. Andy Thomas (drummer) of Tin Horn Prayer and Danny Aranow(guitarist) of Sugar Skulls & Marigold joined to form the new band, but collectively they, “have been kicking around the Denver music scene for the better part of two decades,” according to their Bandcamp profile.
The album, Before Your Wings Gave Out, is a look into a broken home. The album mourns harsh realities and past decisions made to avoid falling into dire straits with the ones you love. Across six tracks, the album addresses the lasting effects of living in such a compromised environment with each track serving as a lyrical disclaimer — a reminder to surround ourselves with the right people.
Playing in other bands and knowing their way around production, the group recorded and released the album in a relatively short period of time. Yet, they did something right as they’ve been featured in a slew of local press outlets from Indie 102.3 to Westword. Their style of music is as new as it is strangely familiar and tranquilizing. Self-described as shoegaze, the band acknowledges and salutes post-rock and indie rock’s mellow tones, with a style that recalls a combination of The Cure and Interpol. Each track is a conversation — the type you hate to have with yourself but know you need to — a blissful melancholy of personal tales.
Before Your Wings Gave Out is a melodious and journal-entry album that reveals the underlying and ever-present exhaustion from unstable relationships. These tracks serve as a recollection of overlooked resentments in the past. It’s an acknowledgment of current success through past mistakes. The tone is bittersweet yet humbling through its confessions, while equally troublesome to a listener’s conscience with time. But, when it hits, it hits.
The album starts despAIR Jordan out on the proper foot in terms of their musical endeavors. It speaks on reconstruction after traumatic events, knowing full well the trauma never disappears. The safe spaces we make only work if we keep the toxicity out of them. This album builds from the foundations laid out by the band’s previous experiences and provides a steady structure for what’s to come. It showcases that a home can only be stable through the efforts of the individuals who live within it.