Never before has there been such a healthy crop of young pop-stars making waves in the music industry. The likes of Dua Lipa, Rag’N’Bone Man and Raye are three names who have plugged hard enough on the outskirts of the industry to earn their breaks recently and there is still a wealth of young talent to be discovered. Jordan Walker is one of those and his new EP ‘Demons’ showcases all that he has to offer…
Jordan Walker is a 17-year-old singer/songwriter from Northern Ireland. From supporting Westlife’s Shane Filan at the tender age of 14 to performing on West-End in the Busted-inspired ‘What I Go To School For’ musical and, most recently, being the support act for X-Factor winner Sam Bailey on tour, Walker has been tapping away at a breakthrough for years.
The 17-year-old has released music previously. His track ‘Army Of Two’ came out in May 2015, though the youngster penned the song when he was 13, and charted at 23 in the iTunes chart. It is exactly what you’d expect from young singers at that age. It’s overconcious pop at it’s finest, similar to what the likes of Jacob Sartorius and Johnny Orlando are currently having success with. However, just as Sartorius and Orlando’s work does now, ‘Army Of Two’ lacked the personality needed for longevity in the pop industry.
Walker appreciates that and, for him, Demons is “what I want to be known for”. That maturity is clear on the EP. By no means is Demons an album, its overall sound is muddled and experimental, but it does showcase the singer’s versatility.
The third track ‘Heaven’ is the pick of the five. It’s electronic vibe is relevant to the pop scene right now and, whilst the verses are still shaky in places, Walker launches into the almost EDM-like chorus with such confidence. The addition of, relatively unknown, rapper Marlee (Jonothan Dashiell) into the bridge is a clever one and adds finesse. If any song on Demons is going to attract attention it will be this one.
It’s electronic vibe is relevant to the pop scene right now and, whilst the verses are still shaky in places, Walker launches into the almost EDM-like chorus with such confidence.
Whilst the EP lacks an overall direction, there are clear influences in each song. ‘Don’t Let Me Go’ is very Shawn Mendes-esque with echoes of the star’s summer hit ‘There’s Nothing Holding Me Back’ and collaboration ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ with Camila Cabello. There’s nothing wrong with these clear similarities. Just as they pack a punch with their guitar openings, so does Walker’s ‘Don’t Let Me Go’, setting up what is a really solid track. It’s a completely different sound from ‘Heaven’, a contrast that perhaps wouldn’t work back to back on a full album, but that flexibility in direction will attract record companies.
There’s yet another U-Turn in genres for title track ‘Demons’ which, lyrically, rises above the rest of the EP. Walker’s musical theatre background is clear to hear. It’s a self-exploring confession that would work perfectly for a solo piece on stage in a musical as he muses “I’ve lost myself today, somewhere in a secret place, it’s where my demons stay” and “I gave myself away, I’m the only one to blame”. However, that theatre-presence is a little lost next to such impressive pop work in ‘Heaven’ and ‘Don’t Let Me Go’. Nonetheless, the soaring note ‘Demons’ ends on is a striking moment of talent that is just why Walker is one to watch.
Closing track ‘Blind’ is a ballad that falls just short of being fully convincing. The youngster is pushing all the right buttons as a background clapping is added to the simple first verse after the chorus, the classic hallmarks of a stand-out live song. It just lacks a needed vulnerability to convey the line, “I’m blind without your eyes”. However, at 17-years-old that has to be expected. For Walker to attempt a ballad of that nature without the life experiences of older singers is a brave effort and, in a few years, tracks like ‘Blind’ will grow so much more.
For Walker to attempt a ballad of that nature without the life experiences of older singers is a brave effort and, in a few years, tracks like ‘Blind’ will grow so much more.
It is only opening track ‘Ghost Town’ which sounds completely lost. It’s somewhat a mix of all the different genres explored in Demons that needs a re-focusing. It’s very similar to an identically titled track by new Queen frontman Adam Lambert, most likely unintentional, but a similarity that would be picked out at a higher level of pop music.
There is something very exciting about Jordan Walker’s Demons EP. Every track is food for thought on just how bright Walker’s future is. ‘Heaven’ and ‘Don’t Let Me Go’ are the two most likely to be seized upon by recording companies as pop songs ready to make an immediate impact on the industry. The overall sound and direction of Demons may be confused but, at Walker’s career stage, that diverse ability is something that should definitely be shown off until he is signed. A 17-year-old writing and producing this quality of music won’t go unnoticed for long.