Embark On A Musical Expedition With Jordan Phillips’ Incredible Debut EP, ‘Long Way Home’

Jordan Phillips’ debut EP, ‘Long Way Home’, released 24th November, showcases her thoughtful lyricism with an introspective warmth and candour. With the help of producers, Conal Mooney & Finlay Mowat, this up-and-coming artist has created something with its own identity, and beautifully packaged. Each track of ‘Long Way Home’ has its own personality, each showing different dimensions to the same story, strengthening the EP’s identity as a whole.

It takes you on a journey of self-discovery and, despite the occasional heartbreaking lyrics (I’m still crying about Graduation Song’s opening verse), it leaves you feeling empowered. In my opinion, this is down to the crafting of the EP as a whole, from cover art to the tone of the guitar, there are nuances in its layers and textures. With such care and attention to detail, it transcends the sum of its parts. The cover art particularly reminds me of the band Daughter, as it adds a deeper insight into the tone and EP’s identity. Photographed by Megan Henderson, it builds on the shy optimism as it shows Jordan Phillips staring into the glowing sun with a luring forest as the backdrop- it’s subtly full of life whilst also being quietly reflective.

Listen to ‘Long Way Home’ by Jordan Phillips on Spotify

This EP feels like a well-needed breath of freshness to my current music routine- like the warm sun’s glow on a frosty day. With lyrical gifts that keep on giving (‘Homebody’) and instant feel-good tunes (‘Less than a week’), this one is for any fans of gut-wrenchingly honest and relatable lyrics. If you already like BoyGenius, Laura Marling or Passenger, give ‘Long Way Home’ a try on your commute to help you get all the way home, or at least some of the way. And I’m not the only one who thinks this Edinburgh artist is worth a listen, BBC Radio Scotland and Amazing Radio UK are among the stations that have been playing ‘Losing’ and ‘Less Than a Week’, as well as having been Off Axis Tours Artist of the Week.

I feel that the opening track, ‘Once in a Blue Moon’, has its place on the Twilight soundtrack (and for reference, I think Twilight has a great soundtrack). I can even see Bella’s orange pickup truck driving down a winding road lined with huge trees. It’s atmospheric and introspective but with an alluring edge. The rhythmic guitar opening sets the murky tone, swimming through a lake that eventually opens up to the speckled light with its rich melody. Its subtle harmonies, alongside the slide guitar, give an ethereal feel, whilst the bassy kick drum grounds the sound with an earthy quality. Although perhaps the cover art has potentially planted the forest-like imagery in my brain.

Jordan Phillips
Jordan Phillips (Photography Credit: Meg Henderson)

“The lyrical content lays all bare – destruction of relationships around me, a quiet nature being both exploited and celebrated, and the idea of home comforts losing their appeal.”

Jordan Phillips

As someone who appreciates good lyricism, I enjoyed re-listening to ‘Homebody’. If you’ve ever struggled to leave the house, like me, this one will resonate with you. This track takes a poetic lens to staying inside, and while that’s usually accompanied by some claustrophobia, instead I get a familiar sense of sadness that’s nostalgic rather than suffocating. The lyrics alongside the vulnerable vocals convey something I can’t quite put my finger on. I even went as far as transcribing them to get a better read, and they don’t disappoint. The word choice and imagery are borderline masterful while the understated musical accompaniment lets the poeticism shine. It takes the listener through from morning to night in a familiar haze that I think many people could relate to.

Similar things could be said for ‘Losing’, but in this case, it’s the metaphoric language that creates a sense of travel- the “light on the dashboard” gives a warning as you realise your “baggage” might be too much to take. But most of all, I still have the line “If losing the game wasn’t hard enough I’m losing my mind just the same” ringing in my ears. There is a sense of longing and resignation in this track, but it is harboured with strength and recognition.

The EP skilfully balances juxtaposing ideas- losing but also finding, being exploited and celebrated- and ‘Graduation Song’ is the culmination of this. It poetically depicts the end of a relationship with such realness and candour while feeling like a new beginning. I think this is again down to the construction of the EP, having collaborated with producers who are friends has allowed the vulnerable songwriting to be uplifted from a place of genuine understanding and care.

Ending the EP with a bounce, ‘Less Than a Week’ – co-written with Erin Ferguson – is the song I’ve been singing in the kitchen for the past week. The opening line, “Maybe I’m selfish”, instantly grabbed my attention but it’s the catchy chorus that echoes through my brain. With lines like “the way I see it is different than before”, it’s clear to me that along this journey there’s been a change of heart, and it seems for the better, as if maybe we’re closer to home than before. I’d love to hear more songs like this from Jordan Phillips, it’s infectious and has a self-affirming attitude that leaves me feeling empowered.

Looking forward to hearing what Jordan Phillips does next! If you would like to hear her live then head down to the Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh, on December 14th for her EP Launch (you can book tickets here), and you can follow Jordan across all her socials, here. For more fantastic music, check out some of our other recent reviews.

Start typing and press Enter to search