Jordan Silver openly reflects on past lives, loves and lessons.
The Brooklyn indie rock singer-songwriter revisits the untimely demise of a promising romantic relationship on his latest cinematic, introspective single, “Momentary Thrill,” now available via all streaming platforms.
“I was in a relationship where we jumped in really quickly, and I basically decided to trust my emotions to guide me through this relationship. Normally, I’m very held back, and maybe I’m typically more of the blocked one you could say emotionally, but at the time I felt very open, like I was diving in,” Silver said.
“It seemed like on the receiving end there were more walls that I was struggling to break through, and eventually when it ended, I just wanted to write a song to recap what had just happened.”
Silver magically tears down those “Momentary Thrill” walls as hypnotic, dreamy electric guitars, delicate cymbal taps, intermittent bass drum kicks, smooth bass and lo-fi, poignant vocals transport listeners to a pivotal break-up scene in a critically-acclaimed romantic dramedy.
He emotionally sings, “Well you’re running for the hills/But you put on quite a show of it/And everybody knows it/You chose it/Well the summer ended early/For the lover losing track of time/Without a reason why.”
“The lyrics are very straightforward; they’re not spiteful, hateful or disrespectful. It’s just very much a recounting of this happened, this happened, that happened. Typically, as an artist and as a person, I like to get the facts of the matter of things,” said Silver, who wrote “Momentary Thrill” last year.
Silver worked with Toledo, the Boston beach goth duo of Dan Alvarez and Jordan Dunn-Pilz, to record, arrange and produce the track in late 2019 as a follow-up to the wistful, yacht rock-esque love anthem, “After a Response Like That.”
“I’ll just come to them with a basic melody, lyric and chord, and then Dan will go, ‘Oh, so like this?’ He’ll play exactly what I was hearing and better. He brings arrangements to the table, where he’ll ask, ‘Do you want it to sound more like this or more like that?’” Silver said.
“He does it all; he does the drums, the bass and the guitar. He really forms all the music with what I brought to him, and sometimes he’ll workshop certain lyrics and verses. They’re definitely a big part of the process and the development of the songwriting.”
In June, Silver released a companion lyric video for “Momentary Thrill” featuring a series of animated, meaningful Polaroids depicting personal experiences and encounters in a simple beige scrapbook. Directed by Shannen Bamford, the video nicely complements the romantic, thoughtful aesthetic of Silver’s latest track.
Responses and Reflections
Before experiencing a “Momentary Thrill,” Silver accepts the fate of a short-lived relationship on “After a Response Like That.” Airy electric guitars, soft bass, light drums, tingling cymbals and colorful, ascending synths echo Silver’s ruminative vocals, “Cause after a response like that/Your ego’s taken down a notch/Grandma’s golden Fossil watch will be my only company/Insisting when I’ll wake up every morning at nine/Waking up from nightmares in the nick of time/I start to choke/Is that what you want me to do?/I have worked so I gotta cancel with you.”
“It encompasses the feeling of meeting someone new and thinking, ‘Oh, This could be a burgeoning relationship,’ and then after date three, they evade your advances, even though they had been so susceptible to them at first. Now suddenly something has turned, and I got a text message response that was like, ‘Oh sorry, I have to work,’ without trying to remake the plan. I specifically remember being at my friend’s comedy show, and she and I were texting back and forth, and I thought it was all good,” said Silver, who recorded the track with Alvarez in 2019.
“I was very excited about this new girl, and then after that response I was like, ‘Oh, well shit, this is done, and this is dead.’ It’s all about the way we overthink and the anxieties that occur when feeling out a new person. It’s basically after the fact, and a lot of my songs are more reflective. It’s not so much what’s gonna happen, but it’s ‘Oh man, this happened, and this is how I feel.’”
Anxieties also run rampant on “I Should’ve,” a brilliant, moody ode to lingering self-doubt and second guesses. Static-filled electric guitars, thoughtful acoustic strums, tender drums, gentle cymbal taps and glistening piano entice Silver’s escalating worries.
He quietly ponders, “Try to stop thoughts/Racing in between my ears/Will I be more than another/Face lost in the crowd/Try to stop doubts flying from rise to rest/Will I be more than another/Name lost in the chaos/I should’ve played the drums or piano/Anything but what I do would be cool/Try something new or refine something old/To have and to hold.”
“There are so many things that we could’ve gone back and done, and this one is not about a relationship. It’s really about me as an artist. Well, I play the guitar, but maybe I should’ve played the piano. I chose to go into this field, maybe I should have chosen to be a lawyer. It represents everything questioning everything, and I must have been in some kind of mood for that one,” Silver said.
Maryland and More
Silver poetically addresses a contemplative mood on “Maryland,” his signature, playful debut track from 2018. Soaring acoustic strums, shimmery piano, bouncy bass, thumping drums and propulsive electric guitars beautifully recall the one who got away.
In response, he wonders, “Do you miss Maryland/I’ll pick you up from Baltimore/Let’s get high and go to Texas Roadhouse with my mom/Cause that’s a good idea/Do you miss Maryland/We’ll go downtown to the bay/And we’ll meet up with some friends of mine/But you’re the only one who wouldn’t stay.”
“That was the first song I ever wrote, and that is basically about my first love. We were off and on for like eight years throughout high school and college and a little bit afterward. I wrote this when I was in college at a period when we just hadn’t spoken in maybe years. Again, I was trying to bring to life what happened in the past and trying to revive the ghost of this relationship so that it made some sense to me. It’s similar to ‘Momentary Thrill’ in a way, and this one was more of a question,” Silver said.
“She lives on the Upper East Side, and she would come and visit me because we met at camp. She would come and visit me in Maryland, and I would come visit her in New York. This one was more posing the question of ‘Do you miss Maryland?’ and it was like, ‘Do you miss me?’”
In fact, Silver’s musical journey began in Maryland while developing a love of theater and music from his father. At age 11, he started playing guitar and sang along to Ben Folds, Elliott Smith, Death Cab for Cutie and The Fray in the car with his mother.
By high school, Silver started acting in theatrical productions and later studied theater at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. There he met Toledo’s Dunn-Pilz and learned how to write songs while hanging out and jamming with him.
Today, Silver continues write and record new music and hopes to release an EP in 2021 or 2022. He’s considering adding “Maryland,” “Momentary Thrill,” “After a Response Like That” (potentially with a rewritten chorus) and two other new tracks to the upcoming project.
“I’ve been featured on a couple of Spotify playlists, so I think it might be time to buckle down and do the EP. Now is a good time to sit down, write and practice. I want to take my time and make sure my ducks are in a row and everything sounds exactly how I like because after I release every single I’m like, ‘I wish I could’ve or should’ve done X, Y or Z,’” Silver said.
“With the EP, I want to minimize those doubts as much as possible when releasing that because that’s such an artist statement of ‘This is who I am, this is my sound, and this is what I want to do.’ I just want to make sure that it’s meticulous.”