So the first thing you need to know is that, no matter how many email newsletters you are subscribed to, you need to subscribe to JPH’s newsletter. (Signup method: “Ask me about my newsletter.“) Instead of talking about his musical endeavors primarily, bandleader Jordan Hoban gives updates on his “mission to bring food to the hungry in rural America.” So far this has included a year at a monastery, and it is about to turn into an internship on a Catholic Worker farm in Iowa. Hoban’s attention to detail in describing the process and community surrounding the process is beautiful. (If that sounds too “literary novel” for you, just know that I don’t really like literary novels either. I just finished Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson and mostly it made me feel like I’m not very good at reading literary novels.) It is consistently one of the most interesting things I read each month.
You do also get updates on the experimental folk/drone/slowcore music JPH (the band) makes. And lo! The reason I am here (and, ostensibly, you are here) is that JPH has a new track that we are premiering. It is called “Last Night” and it is more straightforward than some of his recent experimental work.
It starts off with the staccato clanking of keys before abruptly transitioning into an elegant, mournful piano ballad. Hoban’s vocals–often not really the focus of JPH tunes–come to the fore here. The multi-tracked delivery is feathery and yet concrete, like a person trying to sing themself into confidence. It fits beautifully over the piano. The lyrics are “The last night of my life / why?”, which also fits with the mood of the piano performance.
Overall, it’s an intriguing, interesting track that keeps the listener off-kilter just enough to keep it JPH. Here’s to staying weird, even when writing a piano ballad about death.