“Cafe Speed” is the lead single from JORDANN‘s upcoming EP, Connecting Visitors to Fun, self-released on February 7, 2020.
It’s the Halloween season, which means that for the past week it’s been nearly impossible to avoid certain songs: The Addams Family theme, Ghostbusters, The Monster Mash, “Thriller.” So what a delightful surprise it was to come across the new track by independent bedroom-pop artist JORDANN, “Cafe Speed,” lead single from his upcoming EP Connecting Visitors to Fun. You may remember back in May when we wrote about previous single, “Business Solutions,” a dreamy yet melancholy slice of indie-disco, not wholly unlike the work of DIY darlings (and fellow Montrealers) Men I Trust. And before that it was last year’s future-funk slow-jam, “I Revel In You,” a pop song that wouldn’t necessarily feel out of place in the end credits of a David Lynch film, as strange as that may sound.
This time around, JORDANN jumps right in with his signature combination of reverby snare drums, keyboard chords, and hard-to-miss bass, but also throws a perfectly dated synth line on the top of the first 20 seconds, resulting in the best 80s sitcom theme song never written. The gentle, mildly breathy vocals, while not always easy to understand, are reminiscent of Kings of Convenience‘s “Erlend Oye,” were his side-projects to lean further into RnB territory. What’s especially impressive about this song, however, is the exquisite arrangement. Check out the final 45 seconds, for instance. JORDANN expertly fills every available space of the instrumental outro with a gaggle of synths, horns, and the occasional guitar strum — all without feeling cluttered or claustrophobic. To borrow a phrase, there is a place for everything, and everything is in its place.
Equally impressive is how the funky, slinky, and totally popping bass line pulls triple-duty here, functioning simultaneously as rhythm, melody, and ear candy. It’s high up in the mix, so it stands out, but it’s also so fun, propulsive, and catchy that it practically begs to be the focus of your attention at certain moments. In an unexpected twist between the final chorus and the aforementioned outro, the tempo slows to half time, the snares amplify their echo, and for about 30 seconds the song now transforms into the best 80s teen rom-com love theme never written.
There is a lot to love here, and regardless of whether or not you require a respite from the season’s beloved Halloween tunes, it’s very easy to want to blast this on repeat. Which is good news since we have another couple of months to wait until the EP’s release. And by that time, this particular visitor will definitely be ready to be connected to some fun.