Moving off to college is like starting a new life for many bright-eyed Nevada students. Leaving home can certainly be tough, causing some to end up returning.
There’s no doubt though the places we’re from shaped us into who we are today whether we know it or not. That’s the exact theme behind “Home State”, the first album from country artist Jordan Davis.
“Every song is […] something that happened to me in Louisiana,” Davis said. “I think that instead of calling the album Louisiana, which you know, not everybody’s from Louisiana but everybody’s got a home state. I’m sure their home state shaped them the same way that mine shaped me.”
The first song, “Take It From Me”, is high energy, setting the precedent for the rest of the album. For a new artist’s first full release, each song was strong in its own right. They weren’t cookie-cutter country songs that sometimes plague the radio, but instead offered a more unique sound.
One of my favorite attributes of the album is how easy it was to listen to. The vocals were clear, and it sounded like I was being sung a story. Davis says he learned that from his musical influences, Jim Croce and John Prine.
“Man, those are the guys I still listen to to this day,” Davis said. “But that was what my dad listened to, so when I was with him, I rode around and listened to those songwriters like that.”
The defining characteristic of those songwriters is their simple production and the conversational style, and Davis remarks that it still influences the way he makes music.
“I feel like they’re very easy to listen to, and songs get listened to more when they’re easy to listen to,” Davis said. “Those were the first storytellers, in my opinion. I feel like that’s what music is: a three and a half minute book, you’ve got to put a lot of imagery in there.”
Davis worked on Home State over the past five years since his move to Nashville in 2012.
“It’s a special place. It’s a creative city. It’s home now, man. I love it. I miss it when I’m away from it too long.”
The album is a collection of Davis’ 12 favorite songs he’s ever written. He received widespread acclaim for the song “Singles You Up” in recent months, and it is the most successful song on the album in terms of playback. He did not expect the song to break out the way it did.
“That was actually the last song we recorded for the record, last song we wrote,” Davis said. “I never dreamed in a million years that it would become the song it’s become.”
When releasing an album, he says that you have to put them out and just leave it up to the fans to see which ones they like.
“You have your songs that you think people are gonna gravitate to, and the ones you think that might take a little bit longer for, and it gets flipped on its head. It’s pretty wild.”
Davis will be opening for Kip Moore and Jillian Jacqueline at the Grand Sierra Resort on Oct. 27. The performance begins at 8pm, with doors opening an hour before, and tickets start at $25.