Introducing Joel Jorgensen

In 2013 I shared the post ‘Angels Fall Yesterdays Gone’ as I was impressed with the style of rock this band had produced. It was their lead singer and songwriter Joel Jorgensen who helped create this great sound thanks to his lyrical and vocal abilities. I recommend that you check out their album Yesterdays Gone at their Bandcamp page (click HERE).

Now back to the present day and I was surprised to learn that Joel has embarked on a solo venture which includes a change of sound. I wasn’t sure what I felt about this as I like his rock sound, but I had faith in his song writing abilities so I went to check out his music and his new EP ‘Lift Me Up’. What I was listening to was very different as he is delivering music with an Americana/folk feel. I was curious to know more about this change so I thought I would ask the man himself. Joel was kind enough to answer my questions and this is what he had to say:

What was your inspiration for getting into music and which musicians have influenced your sound?

I guess you could say I was born into music. My father is a musician and when I was a child I’d lay next to him on the floor while he played and sang his songs or I would sneak into his basement studio when we lived in Colorado and listen to him play and record his music onto a reel to reel. So my Dad was my first inspiration for playing music. He to this day is still my favorite person to listen to.

Many different artists have inspired me threw the years and I have integrated their sound into my own. But if you were to ask me who my absolute favorite Is I wouldn’t be able to sum it. Top three I can do thought: 3. Tori Amos, 2: Tom Waits, 1: Beck.

I listen to pretty much everything though and happily from Elvis, Hank, Johnny Cash, Brad Paisley to Adel, Sam Smith, Black Keys, Foo Fighter to Gregory Alan Isakov, Mumford, Joe Purdy, Ray LaMontagne to lesser knows but coming ups like Wil Ridge, Anahita Skye, Aly Tadros. Also Love classic and current rock and metal and a little rap and hip hop as well. Here are my tops for those genres:  Foo Fighters, Atreyu, Inflames, DMX, M&M… List goes on and on.

Your new solo EP ‘Lift Me Up’ is a much different sound that your previous work, why the change?

I think the better question is what changed in me. I’ve been at this for a long time now and have always love writing all styles of music. Rock music has been the center of my creative life for 20 years. I’ve studied every artist I loved and I tried to be like them. When I wrote the “Yesterday’s Gone album for Angels Fall” It to me was a culmination of all the artists I had grown to love respect and emulate. I played it out best I could and took it even farther then I expected it to go. I love that album and am forever grateful to all the people who were apart of it’s creation.  

I guess you could say I had become detached from my self in the process with Angels Fall. I needed a break… The constant hammering of industry advisers saying you have to write another rock album… NOW!!!! Became my breakfast lunch and dinner… It was all I heard and ultimately was what brought all further creation to a halt.

I write all of my music so when I am inspired… Inspirational music come easily.

I took 1 year off and wrote for other artists Like, Billy Ray Cyrus, Dozzi, Cassadee Pope and many folk and indie groups. This is where I changed. I had forgotten about my roots as a singer song writer in all the mess and clammer of being a mainstream radio rock artist. I had not reached massive stardom but I did get a good taste of it. I dug into some old journals from the early 90s and found some songs I had written back then. Played them as best I could remember and I was instantly taken back. That is how this all can about.

This EP also feels more personal, was this something you planned for when you began creating it?

I approached this Ep and what will soon be an album way differently they I did with AF’s Yesterday’s Gone. I began by just writing riffs… And recording them onto my Iphone. Hundreds came flooding. So much so that I was dreaming them. So I put my old D25 Guild next to my bed and when I woke at night id grab it and record what I heard in my dreams.
Then the lyrics came.  I used to sit for hours chewing on a line or phrase  or write about a popular situation that radio song writer write about. For my EP “Lift Me Up” I just write about what ever came to mind. Didn’t think twice about it or re work it to death. I guess you could say I committed without the option to swap out.

The result is what you hear now. Complete unadulterated honesty and a deep feeling of heart and life in the music.

Which is your favourite track from the EP and why?

I love them all equally. Each track has a story behind it and I am thankful to have lived enough to write each of these songs from experience.

What are you future goals in relation to your music?

The whole goal for this EP was to not plan but to just do my absolute best and let the rest do what it chooses. I spend a better part of three decades learning home to write for radio and radio topics. So I guess its just trust in my training. On several of the songs I play all the instruments except the drums and that was a first for me. Always wanted to do that. So Big Goal… Stay true to myself and my music so it will take care of me and you!

So, what are me thoughts about the EP ‘Life me Up’? During my first listen it took me until the second song to adapt to this new sound and when I did I really appreciated the new direction. Joel has delivered something that feels personal to him which gives this EP an irresistible charm. This new music is the combination of a stripped down natural sound that is delivered not only on his guitar but also in his voice. I always thought Joel had an amazing voice but somehow he has excelled my expectation by talking this talent to another level.

It is difficult to choose a favourite amongst this 4 track release as each song sounds so good every time I listen to it I pick a new favourite. I guess it shows the strength in his song writing abilities. On my last listen, my favourite was the heartfelt song ‘Aching Heart’ which is about what the title says. This song has so much soul and I feel there is a story behind these lyrics because of its personal feel. It also showcases the stunning vocal ability that Joel has to offer.

Overall, this may be a change in direction but he still continues to deliver songs of a high calibre that deserves attention. I strongly recommend that you head over to his Bandcamp page (click HERE) and listen to ‘Lift me Up’ in full. If your ears are liking what they are listening to then your can grab a copy of the EP while you are there.

On reflection of the two releases created by Joel, it has been great to see a songwriter with a great creative range. I really like his rock side to his music but I think his new solo material is better and I can’t wait to hear more like this.

As a fan, I am following Joel on his social media sites at Facebook and Twitter so when new music is released then I will hear all about it. As a fan, I will help to spread the word about his music and I hope you do to. It’s our duty as a fan to support the music that matters to us and I hope this includes the music from Joel Jorgensen.