On Stage Extra: Jordy brings new music to the Fillmore

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times


April 21 is a day pop music fans have been looking forward to for quite some time.

It is the release date for Jordy’s sophomore album, “Boy.”

Jordy is already touring in support of the new album – a tour that makes a local stop on April 18 at Fillmore Philadelphia (1100 Canal Street, Philadelphia, www.thefillmorephilly.com).

“My first single was in 2018,” said Jordy, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon from a tour stop in Columbus, Ohio. “It was called ‘Be With Me.’

“My first EP was ‘Welcome to the Friend Zone’ in 2019. I made another EP in 2020 and I’ve released a lot of singles over the last few years.”

In 2018, Jordy broke through with the independent single, “Just Friends,” tallying 18+ million streams and counting. He maintained his momentum with “Close To You,” reeling in another 13+ million streams.

His 2021 full-length debut, “Mind Games,” spawned the relatable “Long Distance,” which lit up TikTok. In its wake, he made his national television debut with an impressive performance on The Today Show and later earned a nomination at the iHeartRadio Music Awards in the “Social Star” category.

In the 2020s, Jordy has performed sold-out shows across the U.S. – including one at LA’s legendary club, the Troubadour. He also has made major festival appearances including Lollapalooza, BottleRock, Washashore, and Corona Capital). Importantly, he has earned critical praise in the press for his candid, heartfelt songs.

Jordy, an openly gay singer-songwriter, has collaborated with fellow rising indie-pop acts such as Emma Løv, Joy Oladokun, and Loote. The Chicago native even earned a nomination for Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist at this year’s GLAAD Media Awards.

Getting his fans primed for the release of a new album, Jordy hit paydirt with his recent single, “Story of a Boy.” The song puts an LGBT spin on Nine Days’ “Absolutely: Story of a Girl,” which was a mainstream hit more than 20 years ago.

“This song – and most of my songs – provide music that queer kids can identify with,” said Jordy. “I didn’t have a lot of openly queer artists to listen to as a kid.

“I always listened to pop – Spice Girls, Michelle Branch, NSYNC, the Backstreet Boys. I would have loved to have had a queer artist to look up to when I was young.

“The first concert I went to was by Avril (Lavigne). She was so cool – and such a badass. While I loved pop, my dad loved rock. Avril was in the middle, so he took me to her concert.”

Jordy lists one of his goals as saying things that are on his mind even if he’s not comfortable saying them. He also feels that queer artists have a place not just in the queer community but in the mainstream.

“I came out when I was 15,” said Jordy. “My main influence at my time of coming out was Adam Lambert. That was so powerful – also Sam Smith. Also, I remember when Ricky Martin came out. It was a big deal.”

The level of acceptance for LGBT artists has risen in a huge way over the last five-to-10 years (except maybe in Kid Rock’s backyard).

“I got bullied a lot when I was younger,” said Jordy. “Being onstage is when I started to become visible. I come from a really loving family and supportive community. So, I’ve been able to speak for myself.”

Jordy speaks volumes – especially on his new album, “Boy.”

“I cut the album in L.A. and Nashville over the last one-and-one-half years,” said Jordy. “I’ve been working on these songs since the last album. I’m always writing. I have over 100 songs ready now.

“For this tour, I’m with my band – drummer and guitarist. The set list is about 50/50 with songs from each album.

“When I’m writing, my goal aways is to make a good pop record. When I’m writing music, it is inherently queer. Anything I write is from a queer perspective.”

Video link for Jordy – https://youtu.be/Rztr2-9498w.

The show on April 18, which has Spencer Sutherland as the headliner, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22.

On April 19, Brooklyn Bowl (1009 Canal Street, Philadelphia, www.brooklynbowl.com/philadelphia) will host a show featuring Fruit Bats as the headliner with H.C. McEntyre as the opening act.

Fruit Bats

Eric Johnson, the man behind Fruit Bats, is on tour in support of his upcoming album, “A River Running to Your Heart,” which will be released on April 14.

Despite Johnson’s nomadic lifestyle, this album explores the importance of what it means to be home, both physically and spiritually, and how home can take on many forms. The lead single off the album, “Rushin’ River Valley,” sets the stage for Johnson’s upcoming release.

Fruit Bats’ 10th full-length release finds the artist in the middle of a people-powered climb leading to the biggest shows and most enthusiastic new fans in Fruit Bats history. It’s hard to pinpoint a single reason for this mid-career resurgence, but after two decades of making music, hard-earned emotional maturity has clearly seeped into Johnson’s already inviting songs, resulting in a sound that’s connected with audiences like no other previous version of the band.

As a kid growing up in the Midwest, Johnson’s family moved around a lot, but it wasn’t until he became a touring musician years later that motion became a central part of his identity. That transient lifestyle stoked an enduring reverence for the world he watched pass by through a van window.

According to Johnson, “There’s always been motion in my life between one place and another.

“It weighs heavily on me — the notion of place — the places I’ve been and the places I want to go. The songs exist in a world that you can sort of travel from one to another. There are roads and rivers between these songs.”
“A River Running to Your Heart” represents the fullest realization of Johnson’s creative vision to date. It’s a sonically diverse effort that largely explores the importance of what it means to be home, both physically and spiritually.
“We lost some time / But we can make it back / Let’s take it easy on ourselves, okay?” sings a world-weary but ultimately reassuring Johnson in the song’s opening lines.”

Johnson is an avowed “Deadhead” (fan of The Grateful Dead). Fruit Bats have covered the songs “Wharf Rat” and “They Love Each Other” in concert. Johnson has appeared several times as a guest on several Grateful Dead related projects. In August 2019 he joined Joe Russo’s Almost Dead for several songs at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre, and once again in July 2021.

In October 2021, he played three shows at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York as part of Phil Lesh and Friends.

Video link for Fruit Bats — https://youtu.be/xqEkvpetUbY.

The show on April 19 at Brooklyn Bowl will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.

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