2020 was a perfect year to be dormant and put off working until there were better days on the horizon, just don’t tell that to Jordan Robert Kirk.
Kirk used his 2020 to write and record his sophomore record, Western Holler, set for release on February 12. To hold fans over until then, he’s released two excellent singles, “Takes You Home” and “The Candle.”
Western Holler will come nearly two years after Kirk’s debut album, Listening for the Sound, and the success of its singles “Pine Box” and “Hi Ho Rita.” Though he’s thankful for the success of the singles and album, Kirk says he doesn’t get too hung up on it when creating new music.
“I don’t dwell on success, big or small,” says Kirk. “Though it was validation to some extent that my brand of country had found a home, and that feels good.”
Though the name of his first record still holds true as Kirk was preparing the release of “Takes You Home,” the first single off of Western Holler and his first release since a cover of “Seven Nation Army,” Kirk says he saw the release as continuing to hone in on his sound.
“I think it’s a stepping stone. I’m still listening for the sound; further developing my songwriting and my sound,” says Kirk. “I remain firmly grounded in roots, expanding the palate and combining a gospel organ with a bluegrass dobro; softening the edges and keeping it sparse to let the song breathe.
Though he’s admirably tight-lipped about the details of “Takes You Home,” Kirk says the song comes from seeing friends go through a rough patch in their relationship.
“Some of friends were going through a tough time in their relationship,” says Kirk. “I don’t want to get much more specific than that. In a small town, word gets around.”
Kirk has followed “Takes You Home” the touching tune “The Candle,” released on Christmas, a song that is all-too-relevant given the current circumstances in the world.
“’The Candle’ is a song for folks that give it all for their families trying to make ends meet,” says Kirk. “Especially during these trying times.”
With Western Holler on the horizon, Kirk says he plans to perform as often as is healthy and possible as he prepares to release a record that he put so much care and so many personal touches in to.
“It’s definitely a 2020 record. We let the rough edge drag, cut a lot of parts in the same room with some bleed and did it all in my living room. It was homemade, no doubt,” says Kirk. “It’s not a concept record, but the overhanging themes are defiance, resilience and epitomized in the title track, which is a wry message of obstinance in a changing world, and ironic condescension.”
*”Takes You Home” and “The Candle” are featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*