Ervin Stellar channels the energy and integrity of American roots music with his new EP, Nothing to Prove, due out March 26th. Using the name Ervin Stellar as his public persona, Nashville musician Andrew Jordan self-produced and mixed the five-song project and released it independently. During his 12 years living in Brooklyn, New York, Jordan discovered a community of session players who were as comfortable with country as they were with jazz. By blending those styles into his own music – from banjo and pedal steel to drums and electric guitar – Ervin Stellar brings a compelling perspective to Americana music.
His sound is a reflection of his youth in Southern Michigan, where his mother preferred country on the radio, while his dad enjoyed playing jazz records at home. “Elements of that have crept into my sound now,” he says. “I like tapping into it, the subliminal pulse. Much of the arrangements are electric, but the foundation of it could just as well be unplugged, lights out.”
Jordan self-produced and mixed the new Ervin Stellar project, which he’s releasing independently. “It really comes from having a vision for the song,” he explains. “With all of these tracks, I knew exactly where I wanted to take the song. I knew which musicians to pull in and the instruments to apply to each. I guess the satisfaction of self-producing is that I get to carry that whole journey through, from writing the song to sitting back and listening to the master recording, and saying, ‘Yep, that was the vision, it’s here.’”
Today Glide is excited to premiere the EP’s title track “Nothing to Prove,” Featuring an irresistible groove reminiscent of The Eagles’ “Take It Easy,” the song is a bright and mellow country rocker. With its laid back acoustic strumming, sunny harmonies, steady beat, and twangy guitar, the song definitely brings to mind the folk and country rock of the 60s and 70s. Just like much of that music, there is a timelessness to the lyrics and vocals, which are straightforward and catchy. The addition of slide guitar and banjo add a rich sonic texture that reflects its hit-the-open-road lyrics. With “Nothing to Prove,” Ervin Stellar once again proves himself to be a perceptive songwriter and cinematic storyteller who can skillfully channel the energy and integrity of American roots music.
Jordan describes the inspiration and process behind the song:
I started writing this while living in Brooklyn, but with the plan to move later that year. Many people come to New York expecting to find great things, fame or fortune. I wasn’t looking for any of that. There was nothing to prove, nothing to lose – every experience without conscious judgement. I left rich from it all. The early demos of the song are much slower, straight folk. But when we cut the rhythm section I was chasing the open road, a “driving” song. There’s more production on this track than anything I’ve done previously, but with necessity. Each player is telling their story, from the road. Russell Carson of Ricky Skaggs’ band really delivered on banjo, as did Dan Dugmore and Adam Ollendorff on lap steel. The vocal harmonies come courtesy of Nashville artists Michaela Anne and Brady Beard. Mixing was the most challenging part, and it took me a while before I could find the song. I’m still not sure if I did, but it felt like I needed to just let it go. It continues to reveal things to me.