Jordie Lane & The Sleepers – Glassellland
Over the past decade or so, Jordie Lane has generally been pinned as an alt-country troubadour. He doesn’t completely cast off that description on Glassellland, but he shows he’s got more cards up his sleeve than many might have expected.
He says that naiveté and fearlessness were his aims in approaching the new record. It’s not hard to tell. The bright chimes of steel drums in the sorrowful country ballad ‘A Piece Of Land’, the strings that punctuate the downbeats in ‘Out Of State’, and the haunting musical saw in ‘Rambling Mind’ are all examples of sonic touches that a safer artist wouldn’t employ.
Things aren’t off the wall all the time though. Songs like ‘Black Diamond’, ‘Time Just Flew’ and ‘Better Not Go Outside’ are as straight as Lane has ever played. But everything about them seems to be one step better than what he’s done before. His lyrics are more redolent, the instrumentation is less predictable and the whole perspective Lane offers is so unique that you can't help but take notice.
‘America Won’t You Make My Dreams Come True’ is a highlight. Not just because of its self-referential subject matter, but because of the way the verses are so taut and attention grabbing before giving way to a big, Mellotron laden chorus.
Lane produced the record himself, with the help of LA local Clare Reynolds, and they did it in a series of makeshift studios they assembled themselves. An unenviable task, but one that has paid off; the record sounds polished but retains a distinct uneasy energy throughout, which makes for captivating listening.
To hear Jordie Lane trying such completely new things is a real treat. Let’s hope his approach remains fearless for his next release. And let’s hope we don’t need to wait half a decade until we get to hear it.