Jordana Shines at Cafe 939
Jordana has been powering through 2022 and shows no signs of stopping. Only 22, she’s already released three albums and recently crossed the country on tour. She opened for Wallows on the heels of her latest LP, ‘Face the Wall’, which was released through Grand Jury in late May. Loyal fans of the Californian indie-rockers got a taste of Jordana’s clean pop-rock sound and fell in love with her on-stage charisma (and the bright green Gumby figure that follows her on tour). To continue her summer of success, she spent the month of June on a headlining tour across the States. Supported by fellow New Yorkers Harry Teardrop, Jordana made a stop in Boston on June 5th.
Hopping on stage at Cafe 939, Jordana instantly captured the attention of the intimate crowd. She kicked off her set with “Pressure Point,” one of the first singles released from her latest project. The opening sparkle of voices kicks off the album and is a smooth introduction to the new sound ushered in on ‘Face the Wall’. On this album, Jordana uses her songwriting to speak openly about her fears. It feels like she’s given us a peek into her journal as she tackles the opening of her 20’s. This is especially highlighted on “Get Up,” with the gut-punch opening lyrics of “What if I told you you were capable of being loved, baby?/ Would you believe me or would you tell me that I'm full of shit?/ I don't think you realize what others see you as/ Aside from that critical mind you have”. Introducing “I Mean That,” Jordana noted, “If you like The Strokes, you’re gonna like this one.” You can hear the early 00’s flavor in the muffled backing vocals and snappy drums, but Jordana includes her own flair by pairing sweeping violin with playful guitar riffs. “Catch My Drift” also captures a similar energy; it becomes obvious that Jordana, like many of the people in the audience, grew up listening to bands like Phoenix and Death Cab for Cutie.
Jordana didn’t neglect her previous albums on this setlist. She called back to her 2020 release, ‘Something to Tell You,” with a blend of fun and heartfelt picks. Joking that her mom calls it a “vulgar song,” she jumped into the poppy “Fuck You” with it’s honest and repetitive chorus. The song describes a type of person that everyone seems to know: “Thought you could sneak right by and pass through/ No longer a place that you can come to/ You did lots of things that you can't undo/ And you've hurt more than a few.” Everyone pulled out their phones to film “a nostalgic one” from the same album, “I Guess This is Life.” Initially a single released in October 2020, it paints a simultaneously sweet and melancholy landscape of friends, cities, and suburbia. The honest lyrics “I couldn't tell you in words how I'm feeling/ Maybe what I need's a good proper healing” felt like solace in late 2020, echoing the way the days felt common and confusing at the same time.
The set also included tracks from her collaborative EP with TV Girl, ‘Summer’s Over.’ The titular song, boasting almost 5 million streams on Spotify, shows how Jordana’s voice pairs perfectly with TV Girl’s signature nostalgic sound. Many audience members were familiar with this track, as well as “Sweet to Dream” which appeared later in the set. Before finishing her set, Jordana included a third song from the collaboration, the dreamy “Better in the Dark.” She closed with the last song from ‘Face the Wall,’ “Why,” where she opened her arms to the crowd during the echoing chorus.
If you didn’t catch her in the first half of 2022, you’ll be able to see Jordana on tour with Local Natives in August and Remi Wolf in September and October. After seeing such an intimate set at one of Boston’s smaller venues, it’ll be exciting to see larger audiences soaking up her sound. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter @jordananye.