With a dancing, melodic bassline and whistling Hammond organ complement, Ervin Stellar’s new single “Love Is Love” could slip in unnoticed on Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks if it wasn’t for his smooth, intimate vocal delivery on the opening line: “I loved a woman who loved a woman. Whatcha think about that?” A tune that will certainly warrant a relisten to catch each impeccably crafted line, “Love Is Love” is a shining example of how to pull off a balancing act of being earnest, lighthearted, and virtuous—all within a four-minute window of time. As far as its meaning, this artist believes the title and lyrics say all there is to say. Today, Folk Radio UK premiered “Love Is Love,” praising the track by declaring that it “has classic written all over it.” Folk Radio UK also nodded to the “hints of Dylan circa 1965, with a melody reminiscent of Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” adding that “the melody fits well for an equally easy-going number.” Hear “Love Is Love” right now right here and pre-save Ervin Stellar’s new EP, Nothing To Prove, ahead of its March 26th release date at this link.
Ervin Stellar is the public persona of Andrew Jordan, who moved from New York to Nashville following his 2018 album, The Moment. That relocation is referenced in the first line of Nothing to Prove’s title track, setting up a series of musical snapshots that encompasses three original songs and two well-chosen covers—all of which are executed in a hard-to-pin-down mix of organic tones and greasy grooves, whether or not a full-band treatment is involved. 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.”
In addition to his three outstanding originals on Nothing To Prove, Jordan included covers of Jonathan Edwards’ “Shanty” and John Fogerty’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain.” Jordan recalls hearing “Shanty” every Friday afternoon on the radio in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and decided to work it up after realizing it fit the lockdown vibe. As for “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” Jordan slows down the tempo of the Creedence Clearwater Revival original, though the message resonates as much as ever.
Jordan self-produced and self-mixed the entire project to make sure he achieved his desired sound. “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.” The hugely diverse pool of musicians he tapped included Russell Carson (Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder), Martin Wenk (Calexico), and Nashville recording artist Michaela Anne; all contributing their unique talents for Jordan to weave into the fabric of Nothing To Prove. “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.’”
Nothing To Prove Tracklisting:
Nothing To Prove
Love Is Love
Who’ll Stop The Rain