By Jhoni Jackson
Back in the mid-to-late 2000s, Snowden was ubiquitous in the Atlanta dance scene. You simply could not go to MJQ without hearing “Black Eyes” and shake, shake, shaking to Jordan Jeffares’ sticky synth-pop. Anti-Anti wasn’t just a hit here, either. Snowden scored big in clubs all over, even landing a 2009 touring slot with Kings of Leon.
Label trouble, however, caused a force hiatus for Jeffares, who now lives in Austin, Texas. While the break kept him from releasing, he still spent all of those years ruminating over the follow-up. Finally, No One in Control met the public last month via Kings of Leon’s label, Serpents and Snakes.
“It ended up meaning that…each of the songs [on the new LP] has three or four different versions—distinctly different,” Jeffares explains. “Some of those old versions are going to become songs for the next record.”
Naturally, the 7-year break resulted in a shift in Snowden’s sound. Jeffares has taken a more chamber-pop approach this time, and has yielded more to his melancholy tendencies.
“I think it’s half and half,” he says of the new album’s tempo. “The old one is three-quarters upbeat. I guess you can’t please everyone, so I tried to please myself. Pleasing myself meant that this record was split.”
Don’t expect much a downer of a live show, though. Jeffares is mindful of what Snowden fans want to hear. He assures the set list will include as many older jams as it does newer tunes.
“It takes time for a new record to catch on,” he says.
Anyway, the sound isn’t a giant leap from Anti. Even its slower moments are engaging and interesting. Not a single track drags. Plus, several are on par with Anti’s most danceable—and in the same vein, which is now decidedly different than the norm for clubs these days.
“If you try and chase trends, you’re always going to be behind,” Jeffares notes. “And so I guess I’ve kind of gotten to the point where I’m just going to do what I want to do.”