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Editor's note:KSL.com does a periodic feature on local bands and musicians. If you have a band or musician in mind, feel free to email your submission to email@example.com. Please include a contact email for the artist, if available.PROVO — Tom Petty. Neil Young. Coldplay. Those are just a few of the songwriters Provo-based Jordan Moyes looks up to.
Though he’s only 25 years old, Moyes already has been chasing his idols for more than a decade. He’s been a solo act since 2012, and he's been playing guitar since he was 6.
“When I graduated high school and moved to Utah (from Phoenix), I made the conscious decision to be a solo artist and write and perform on my own,” Moyes says. “I enjoy the simplicity, especially when it comes to writing. I feel like my songs are pretty vulnerable, and it's a little easier for me to be open when I'm the only one in that creative space.”
The pros and cons of playing solo
While Moyes has total artistic control as a songwriter, it’s not always easy to be a lone wolf.
“Being a solo act has its challenges when it comes to capturing the attention of a large and sometimes noisy room,” he said.
But instead of just playing louder, Moyes says he tries to entice the audience to listen more closely: “I feel like the root of that effectiveness ultimately comes down to the songwriting and the honesty I portray in the performance.”
Breaking it down, track by track
Moyes shared the story behind each of them.
"I Was Young I Was Old" — “This song was written sort of off the cuff and rather quickly, after a dream I had of an argument from a past relationship. When I wrote it, I loved the simplicity of the chord progression and the rhythmic attack of the melody. That song is a unicorn to me. I was surprised when I wrote it and continue to chase that feeling.”
"Need to Say" — “I wrote this song as a rant of frustration at relationships and the lack of communication that frequently happens in dating and expressing feelings for someone. I feel like I'm someone that's rather straightforward and sort of speak what's on my mind. I've always liked the lyrics for this song and the honesty behind it.”
"Free" — “I love making up stories. I wrote this as a concept song, riffing on a fictional story about a man reminiscing about a past relationship from back in the ‘60s. Some of my favorite songwriting sits within concept albums that take the listener on a journey, as if they're wrapped up with an old novel. I focused a lot on the imagery of that song, and it's something I'm proud of.”
"Not That Far Away" — “This song is an ode to my mother, who passed away unexpectedly a year ago. I wrote it from her perspective, looking down at me, her youngest child. It was probably the hardest song I've ever written, and I don't mean that in an emotional way; it just took so many different shapes and forms because, in my head, I knew what I wanted it to say and sound like. I struggled to chip away and reveal what I knew it needed to be. One of my mentors and musical idols, Andy Hull, played a big role in helping me find what that song needed to be. It's a song that I'm proud of, and I'd like to think my mom feels the same way.”
Moyes said these four tracks are only just the beginning.
“I have some fun and exciting things in the works, including another single and hopefully one more EP before getting into the studio for a full length,” Moyes said. “This has been an important year for me and my music, and I'm excited to see what's in store for the future!”
For updates on shows and new music, check on Jordan Moyes’ Instagram account.