Hot on the New Orleans music scene is rising alt-pop artist Sari Jordan, whose recently released EP, Sing to the Moon, has captivated listeners with its light and uplifting “bubbly wonderland” 4-track collection. Jordan’s voice – known for its raw honesty and playful boldness that oscillates from smoky-sweet soft to big-hearted belt and back again – commandeers ears with a confident, stated presence as the debut EP features a tasting menu of original music essentially ripped from diary entries over the past couple of years. The project is an amalgamation of Sari’s kaleidoscopic influences, embodying elements of Lianne La Havas, Phoebe Bridgers, Billie Holiday, Nai Palm of Hiatus Kaiyote, and Billie Eilish, in a succulent gumbo with Sari’s own gossamer, angelic style.
Exploring notions of self-discovery, healing, unrequited love, introspection, and closure, Jordan gifts listeners with a well-crafted collection of stories that reach the soul – a byproduct of Jordan’s own journey. Sing to the Moon appeals to a musical palate that is vulnerable, light-hearted, honest, and soulful. Jordan’s Norah Jones-esque vocals are seamlessly complemented by a modern take on jazz-pop instrumentals that run throughout this record. Jordan’s “learning-through-doing” approach to artistry not only applies to her recording process for this album but also shines through in lyrical themes. Jordan sings about cycles of conflict, healing, and closure – all intertwined in a reflection of the past and shines through as a standout up-and-coming artist both artistically and spiritually with the picture she has painted in this release. Each track on the album encapsulates a distinct emotion and storytelling style, and Jordan’s experience as a live performer in New Orleans shines through with dynamic live band arrangements and the gentle yet commanding presence she forges.
We chatted with the soulful songstress about the new EP and the stories and diary entries behind each one.
“Desire. I was so sick of it and wanted its cycle to diverge, so I surrendered to it. The form of the song was inspired by old Broadway ballads and standards with a verse before them, hence the a cappella intro. This song was written melody first. From there, I poked the changes out on ukulele while sitting on a beach. The original memo has ocean waves in it. The melody dragged the chords out of my fingers in the way I felt like I was being dragged along by something, one thing leading to the next, in cycles. I love the way the story is tied up via the ending of the song, with Lex Warshawsky (bass) and Alfred Jordan Jr. (drums) intuitively choosing their moments so beautifully.”
“My heart was shredded, and I was speechlessly angry beyond what I had ever known before. Deep in my anger, sadness, and grief, I found the tool of self-focus, wherein I decide what is true for me, and I honor that. This song was written from a ukulele riff with a pretty major7 shape that was new to me. I think I went for the chord melody because I didn’t want my voice to be alone, and then the song was there for me.”
3. “Sing To The Moon”
“I wanted this song to be a way for me to honor connections with now-distant friends and lovers from my past, while being grounded in my present. It’s also a love letter to New Orleans, a city that has been known, historically and in the words of my college English professor, as a place for ‘radical self-fashioning.’ I am finding and becoming my adult self in this city, and I am profoundly grateful for that.
“This song was written melody first. From there, traditional New Orleans music and the easygoing nature of many of the people I’ve met here really spoke to me through the changes and style. I like the way that kind people explain things to me very slowly. So that’s sort of what I’m going for lyrically as well. The rhythm section nailed this song, especially Max Bronstein on guitar. His playing all over this whole record totally just blew me away, from the nylon in Daydreams to the solo he rips in Ceasefire! And that’s Drew Baham on the flugelhorn; I love this solo so much.”
4. “Deep End”
“Fans tend to relate to this one hard. Healing from any kind of grief or heartbreak is difficult and super confusing. Coming out of its fog can feel disorienting. This song is meant to be my affirmation that I need time alone to be with my feelings and tend to my garden. This song comes from discovering some magic in a mandolin. I was particularly in love with Adam Melchor, the Punch Brothers, Maggie Rogers, and Phoebe Bridgers at the time. All of my deeply sensitive indie influences made it into this one, and the whole band (especially Keenan McRae (production), Merell Burkett (keys), and Jerry Henderson (bass)) really took it to a new place that feels all our own.”