Earlier this year, pop singer JORDY busted onto the TikTok scene with an impromptu take of his song “Long Distance” that went viral, throwing the Northbrook native into a whirlwind of activity — signing with the 300 Entertainment label, appearing on TV shows, building a fall concert tour (with an upcoming stop in Chicago), and releasing a flurry of music and videos.
“Life’s been crazy since then,” he said gleefully, “but in the best way possible.”
Last week, the Glenbrook North grad with a refreshing young voice released his debut full-length album, “Mind Games,” which captures all the tension in the life of a young man coming of age while working through a maze of interpersonal relationships.
Leading off with cinematic flair, the “Mind Games (Intro)” conjures up symphonic strains of an old-school movie musical, setting the stage for what’s to come — an open and honest exploration of the challenges of being a mid-20s artist surviving career ambitions, dating and real life.
“I think the common denominator between all these songs is just that each song is literally a very true experience of what happened during this past year,” he said.
Each of the 12 tracks elaborates on a different aspect of JORDY’s story, focusing on the triumphs he’s enjoyed and the trials he’s faced in his life out in Los Angeles. Both the familiar singles and the new album highlights, whether joyful or poignant, all carry JORDY’s trademark high-gloss showmanship and deep, relatable vulnerability.
“Whether it’s heartbreak or body dysmorphia or a bad hookup or whatever, it’s like this past year in general was like a [expletive] mind game,” he said. “Games I’m playing with myself, games other people played on me, games that I played on other people. I think it’s a collection of all of it. … I think it’s an accumulation of all of us and these types of obstacles in our heads that we just needed to overcome over the past year.”
On top of his already popular singles — including “I Just Want to be Loved,” “Long Distance” and the moving anxiety-driven duet “Tomorrow” with friend and collaborator OSTON — JORDY addresses love, loneliness and hookup culture on the new album with the biting but danceable “Delete Me,” “Better In My Head” and the impassioned “Till It Hurts.” He openly reveals his struggles trying to live up to physical standards in L.A. in “Dressed Up in a T-Shirt.” In “Sticks and Stones” he and collaborator Charlotte Sands touch on the pain people can cause each other with words. The dreamy “Trevor” speaks to the confusion of infatuation, and JORDY revels in heartfelt daydreams of escape in the acoustic “South Dakota.”
“People love the bops. And certainly there are bops on the record, but I’m really stoked to have this stripped-down acoustic kind of energy that ends the project because that’s also just what I love to listen to,” he said. “I love to drive and just listen to that. And I love creating kinds of music I love to listen to. I’m excited for people to hear these sides of me that I haven’t been able to showcase yet.”
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JORDY’s “The Mind Games Tour” with OSTON
When: 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27
Where: Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, (773) 525-2501 or lh-st.com
Tickets: $15-$18; VIP upgrade available for an additional $30