By Grant Golden
Photo: Amy Vanderplow
July 29. 2020
Charlotte R&B/neo-soul artist Dexter Jordan has been gradually unfolding his emotions and gathering acclaim through his threadbare soul songs. Alongside producer Jason Jet, Jordan crafts heavy-hearted emotional excursions through delicate yet full-bodied productions. “Contradicting,” the newest single from Jordan and his second release of 2020, continues along this trajectory and finds Jordan swimming in doubt over a lover’s conflicting feelings.
“Contradicting” was created as part of an all black web series entitled, “The Perfect Date,” helmed by director Tailiah Breon and set for debut on Friday, July 31. However, you don’t need to have this enriching track contextualized as part of a soundtrack, as it stands tall on its own as a reflection of the continued growth and self-actualization of the talented songwriter, Jordan.
Delicately strummed, reverb-washed guitar radiates on top of the beat in a hypnotic rhythm as sharp low-end kicks, snaps, snares, and hi-hats cut into the soundscape. While the core foundation of the beat stays static throughout the song, a methodical bass groove blooms into the mix as the music progresses. These bass lines are tucked low in the mix, serving as a subtle guide to push the song into new territories and grip the listener from the trance-like state of the main sample.
Jordan opens the track with lamentations of loneliness and missed calls, unraveling a story of the harsh realization of loss and heartbreak. “Why are you so contradicting,” Jordan croons in the song’s hook, “How do you still hurt my feelings? / Why are you so contradicting? / I wanna know because it hurts me so.”
Jordan has gained nationwide acclaim from his no-frills take on slow and sultry R&B, rather than painting a picture with flowery language we hear the emotion and sincerity oozing through plaintive lyrics.
“Told you I love you and I know that made you scared,” Jordan sings as he struggles over the hesitancy of his love’s reciprocation, but later cuts straight to the point, beckoning that there’s more than meets the eye to both sides of this relationship. “We’re two spirits with secrets untold, but who will be brave? Who will be bold?”
This forthright nature is Jordan’s biggest strength, but it also feels like we’re still peeling back layers to the depth of Jordan’s core. With each new track or project there’s new stones unturned, and with an EP scheduled for release this fall, it’s easy to get excited.
Listen to the new single “Contradicting” by Dexter Jordan.
Listen to Dexter Jordan’s 2019 album Blue: