Home State

Home State

With his debut album, 2018’s Home State, Jordan Davis tapped into a sound that combined country, R&B, pop, and a touch of his beloved Southern rock to build a collection of catchy and (mostly) lighthearted tracks. Released just before the Louisiana native’s 30th birthday, Home State spends most of its runtime concerned with the typical affairs of youth and young adulthood: love and lust, chiefly, drawing on his experiences growing up in Shreveport and attending Louisiana State University. After graduating in 2012, Davis headed to Nashville to become a songwriter—he co-wrote every tune here—but it wouldn’t be until 2016 that he inked the deal that resulted in Home State. Rhythm is the big driver of Home State, and the album’s lead single, “Singles You Up”—about waiting in the wings for a deadbeat boyfriend to leave a woman—has it in spades, with multiple punchy guitar riffs and skittering hi-hats. “Take It From Me” adds a little of that Southern-rock swagger and a touch of funk as Davis revels in the bubbly joy of a new romance. With songs like “Sundowners” and “Slow Dance in a Parking Lot,” he aptly pulls the tempo down to a dreamy sway. Even though he gets into a little bit of hard times regarding his love life—on “Tough to Tie Down,” Davis laments his free-spirited lover leaving—the mood never turns bleak; it’s all just part of life. It’s not until the thoughtful closer, “Leaving New Orleans,” that listeners get a taste of the kind of songwriting evolution Davis would head towards on 2023’s Bluebird Days. Over horn flourishes that nod to the city’s storied music scene, he considers The Big Easy’s landmarks and textures as bittersweet reminders of a former flame and realizes he must move on. It foreshadows the more mature subject matter—including marriage and family—that he would explore five years later.

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