Snowden: In control of ‘No One In Control’

Jordan Jeffares is the soul of Snowden. He performs at T.T. the Bear’s in Boston on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Johnny Brenda’s in Philly on Wednesday, Feb. 20 and at the Mercury Lounge in NYC on Saturday, Feb. 23.
Jordan Jeffares is the soul of Snowden. He performs at T.T. the Bear’s in Boston on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Johnny Brenda’s in Philly on Wednesday, Feb. 20 and at the Mercury Lounge in NYC on Saturday, Feb. 23.

Snowden mastermind Jordan Jeffares is emerging after more than six years off the scene with a new album.

After his 2006 release “Anti-Anti,” which was roundly praised by critics, Jeffares disappeared altogether, because of a conflict with his record label.

Known for introspective, echoing songs, loaded with the prettiest brand of longing and despair this side of The Cure, Snowden is now receiving advance praise for sophomore release, “No One In Control” which comes out in May.

Jeffares says he never gave up making music. He just couldn’t find a way to put it out.

“If you put it out naked, there’s a good chance that no one will ever hear it,” he says from his Austin, Texas, home. “It’s very hard to get a record out properly anymore. Anyone can release a record — I could’ve put it out at any time — but without a push behind it, i.e. some finances, it can be hard.”

METRO: Do you find that the longer you’ve worked on a song, the better it is?

JEFFARES: I hope it is. I have a group of peers that I pass things around to and I’ll keep changing things until they smile.

 

But this new album feels like the followup to “Anti-Anti” even though it’s been more than six years.

I still think in the same rhythms. I still think in the same way because I work alone. Even though I try really hard just to step outside of my own head, there’s only so much I can do and I find myself returning to similar themes over and over again. Even with this much time and this much work on this record, I have strong themes that I’m drawn to, sonically and that’s how the record gets to sounding like it sounds now. That’s why it sounds like a followup, because it really is.

 

Do you think being in Austin will help you write different kinds of material?

Well, when I got here and I was trying to understand where my head was at as far as my writing goes, I read this Steve Earle quote about Austin. He said, “the weather was great, the women were beautiful and the drugs were too cheap and I wouldn’t get anything done in a town like that.” It explains why nothing good comes out of beach towns, including L.A., arguably. When life is so good, it’s hard to find flux to create new moods. I’ve been trying to learn how to rethink here, to write without flux in my life.

 

You’ve been described as enjoying a sort of cold, snowy ambience in your songwriting. What songs or artists evoke that for you?

I’ve always been a big fan of The Cure’s early to mid career, and of course My Bloody Valentine. I’m a huge Yo La Tengo fan. One of the bands that I’m constantly throwing out to my friends, trying to get them to pick up on is The Clientele. I don’t understand how they’re not one of the biggest bands in the world.


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