by Rita Plante
Rising indie pop artist Jordana, best known for her collaborations with the band TV Girl, headlined her first concert this week at the iconic Mercury Lounge in NYC, a venue best know for hosting artists like The Strokes, Radiohead, and Lana Del Rey in their early days. Her most recent release “Summer’s Over,” is a collaborative album with TV Girl which came as a result of the friendship fostered while she was touring with the band as their opener and bass player.
While touring, she played a short, acoustic set featuring mainly new singles and songs off of her second album released in 2020, “Something to Say to You.” Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to catch her first headline show featuring a full band, meaning she was able to showcase a wider range of her discography and talent, including songs from both her debut album “Classical Notions of Happiness,” and “Summer’s Over.”
Jordana’s signature experimental indie pop is incomparable to any other artist out there right now. Each song is a unique blend of funky guitar riffs and strong bass lines, mixed with dreamy vocals and relatable lyrics. Hearing the full band versions live has been something I have been anticipating for a while now, and I am happy to say that she exceeded my expectations. Not only did she seamlessly transition from lead guitar to ukulele repeatedly, but she also gave a powerful vocal performance.
This was best demonstrated in the song, “Jackie’s 15,” where she went from absolutely shredding a slide note instrumental break to belting at the end of the second verse. Other highlights included her bassist strumming away and stealing the show on “Crunch,” and the crowd demanding her to play “Sparks,” by Coldplay as the encore, a song she typically played acoustically, and her delivering while adapting to the electric guitar version on the spot.
Jordana was accompanied by opener Wormy, an indie rock artist best known as a member of the touring band for indie folk-rock artist Samia. This was also the first full band performance for the Wormy band, and they also came on stage like seasoned professionals. You would’ve had no idea this was their first show unless otherwise noted. They played upbeat and catchy indie songs like “Hungry Ghost,” and even coined a signature dance move along the way, the Wormy Wiggle, which got the audience moving, like a good opener should.
Overall, Jordana displayed immense talent for a first headline show. She proved to be both instrumentally and vocally strong while also creating a welcoming vibe with her stage presence. She spoke to the audience like friends, talking about her dog Ducky and her day leading up to the show as if we were hanging out at a jam session, accentuating the intimate appeal that shows at Mercury Lounge hold. Her demeanor was full of personality: quirky, but still edgy and full of Gen Z humor. It was refreshing to see a show where the artist is so talented and real. I look forward to watching her career grow in the future.
Best songs to catch live: “Crunch,” “Jackie’s 15.”