“Everything’s O.K.” by JPH is a look into one of the most intimate processes of a person’s life: going to sleep. While JPH (Jordan Hoban and associates) usually creates minimalist-inspired folk and outsider music, this piece pushes the boundaries of what JPH is and can be. This beautiful, intimate sonic collage is a curated collection of calming noises: lots of shh-ing, gentle murmurs of “it’s okay,” and other delicate noises. (There are some elements of ASMR in here, even if that’s not the direct intent.) This sonic collage has no beats to insist, nor instruments to guide the listener–only the subtlest of rhythms delivered through the many sounds of the human voice.
The highlight of the sonic collage is a sung lullaby (by Hoban’s mother!) layered on top of this gentle assortment of noises: “It’s time to settle down / while Jesus watches over you / and Mom sings lullabies.” The overall effect is one of being comforted, calmed, and sent off to peaceful dreams. Amid the chaos of our lives, this sort of sonic space–expressly about peace, expressly about maternal comfort, expressly about going to sleep–is a rare respite, an almost reverent interlude. It’s an unusual, nontraditional form of sonic beauty. I have definitely never covered anything like it. But it struck me, and I wanted you, dear listener, to hear it too.
Jordan Hoban was kind enough to share some thoughts about the song with me:
“Everything’s O.K.” is special to me. It features my mother singing a song she had written for me when I was a baby. It’s a melody that has always held great significance for me, and in sharing it with others I am inviting them to experience something intimate. The entire album is a journey from tradition to presence, from trauma to hope, and in sharing this melody I am trying to connect the smallness of my experience with the broadness of the world’s story.
A Holy Hour comes out March 25th. JPH will be releasing a limited run of handmade cassettes for the album. Each order will come with exclusive hand-printed art. JPH also plans to release videos corresponding to songs from the album.
Shows:March 24 – Charlotte, N.C., Petra’s
More shows to be announced soon