We were enchanted with the mystifying debut of Forth Worth-based Jordan McGuire for his project moving in, and has been a strong favorite of ours for the past few weeks. Over the span of five tracks, sunburn (released on Z Tapes) has constantly left us in a spiraling daze. C+S spoke with Jordan via email about the project, drawing inspiration from Texas’ geography, and his favorite cereal.
How did moving in come about? Where you involved with any other projects before this started?
Jordan: Moving In is a pretty new project. I had a project before that I put a lot of music out with, but it was me trying to figure out what I wanted to do musically so it’s pretty bad, only a few people know about it (thankfully). I still have a very secret project that I’m active with, maybe one day I’ll show people that stuff.
I decided to start Moving In as a fresh start with a very specific sound in mind, and as a way to cope with emotional issues I had been having and move on from them. With this project I really wanted to have a big sound, while also sounding like it’s being created in a bedroom.
What were your influences for the EP?
Jordan: Musically my biggest influences at the time were Unlove, Laptop Funeral, The Cure, Madeintyo and ASAP Rocky, to name a few. My biggest influences for the EP were memories though. When I wrote it I was pretty much living my life in memories from earlier this year, so those memories and the concept of moving on from them had a huge influence on the EP!
I thought it was interesting that you cited A$AP Rocky and Madeintyo as influences for the music on sunburn. Hip-hop never really crossed my mind as an influence, could you elaborate on the extent of it’s influence on your songwriting?
Jordan: A$AP Rocky specifically has been a huge influence on me even outside of Sunburn, A.L.L.A is a very important album for me and has inspired me in so many ways, I love using drum sounds that sound like they belong in a hip hop song (like in Annie for example) and mixing that sound with guitars and pretty vocals or whatever. The instrumentals and the melodies on A.L.L.A had a huge influence on the album too. I think with Sunburn it was mostly a confidence thing though. With Rocky or a lot of rap artists in general, you hear so much confidence. You can tell that when they’re performing or creating these songs they’re like, “this is good shit, I’m proud of this and I’m proud of myself” and that’s something I’m really inspired by. When I listen to rap music I often find myself feeling confidence I didn’t feel before because of that, so I wanted to go into Sunburn thinking sort of like that, like I was confident and proud of what I was doing.
When I was listening to ‘sunburn’, imagery of mountainous landscapes crept into my head. Has the geography of Texas played any role in your sound?
Jordan: For sure! It has definitely played a huge part in my sound. I find almost no inspiration in the area I live in but the places I’ve visited in Texas inspire me a lot. Actually, when I was starting Moving In, the thing that inspired me the most was South Padre Island. I’ve been going there all my life and everytime I do it inspires me not only as a musician but as a person. It’s a very special place for me and I wanted to somehow incorporate that into my sound. A lot of the forests or cities in Texas have also inspired me a ton. I’ve never really been outside of Texas, so it’s all I’ve ever known!
You mentioned that you were aiming to have a “big sound,” is there a possibility that moving in would expand from a solo project to add another dynamic to your songs?
Jordan: I considered this before I started working on the EP, not for the recording process but for the live show, but I realized the fun part for me is to figure out how to make as big of a sound as I can by myself. I love experimenting with harmonies and layers of different instruments (something I want to explore more with my next release) and trying to sound like it’s not just me. I’ve never really had an easy time writing with other musicians, I just have such a clear vision of how I want a song to sound and I don’t ever want to compromise that. On top of that, I have a very hard time feeling comfortable around other people, I like to be by myself most of the time so that plays a huge part in why I keep it solo!
Texas is a huge state with a bevy of music scenes (most notably Austin) and little pockets of art (like Marfa). Has the local scene in Fort Worth helped you grow into music?
Jordan: Texas has some really wonderful and talented artists, especially in Austin! I haven’t gotten too involved with the local scene though. From what I’ve seen there isn’t too much local music that is similar to mine at all, or any that inspire me. It’s mostly hardcore bands and cover bands. That being said I’m sure there are a few gems in Fort Worth who are just as annoyed by the cover bands as I am!
Pair your favorite cereal with your favorite or current favorite album.
Jordan: My current favorite album is Pavement’s Terror Twilight, I would pair it with Boo Berry, both are spooky and sweet.
You can follow Jordan/moving at @movingin_