Earlier this year Jordan Lieb, who records and performs as Black Light Smoke, changed his life priorities. Citing in XLR8Rthat his fill “of adventures that one can only find in New York during the strange hours of the morning” was over, he jetted for green pastures and country living. Itʻs quite easy to frame Nothing Makes Me Feel(Good Anymore), his new six-track EP, as a loving farewell or some type of ending.
Originally from Chicago, he attended Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, to study recording. Moving to New York in 2001, a career in music started by composing for the soap opera One Life To Live, which netted him a Daytime Emmy Award. Just after venturing into writing music for television commercials— the city’s underground music scene got his attention.
His new vistas of the green pastures of Nashville, Tennessee do not come to mind listening to Liebʻs pitchy new release.
Trust. It hits. Maybe a lil too honestly… These are four am funk empathy vibes for sure. Getting jazzed by the sweaty NYC house style, groove and pitched down vocals featured on deck, is a done deal.
The lead track “Nothing Makes Me Feel(Good Anymore)” carries that shuffle, muted coloring, and echoes bouncing around some type of cavernous space. Floating keys and rattling hi-hats are cooking, doing work. But tiny pockets of mechanical noise start to take residence in the mix. Rhythmically it’s on, but tonally just a bit askew…Downcast. While a kick drum, with purposely blown speaker frequencies, rattles on and on. It’s the quiet blues of the Sun getting up, while folks are dragging, sad like, in happy hour attire. “Street Emotion” carries a bit more of a jacking version of deep darkness with female vocals embellishing the space, making things just a tad brighter over fluid synths. Thing get normalized, in an upbeat Chicago warehouse jacking way on the plonking track “Hustle”.
But it’s the dreamlike limits of the closing track “Golden Chains”, pushing wormy garage basslines, heavy maudlin feels and doleful vocals that stretch hope against fact. The synths keep us holding on. Black Light Smoke’s very personal expression of a modern House sound keeps turning the dammed dirty blues into new reasons to sway until dawn.
Listen to Black Light Smoke’s excellent new EP Nothing Makes Me Feel(Good Anymore) below via Bandcamp and don’t forget to support! Released via Scissor & Thread.