Javelin is an album that rewrites history. Due out February 19 on Nevado Records, these ten songs, among the most confidently and imaginatively arranged Jordan Klassen has ever recorded, engage the past, reassess recollections and impressions, turn failures not into successes but lessons for the future.

Sonically, Javelin is a mixing of ambient and rhythmic elements, from the ebullient African percussion of “St. Fraser” to the heavily reverbed vocals of closer “Smoking Too Long.” Klassen found inspiration—a patron saint, of sorts—in an unlikely figure. “The record is a nod to the ‘90s New Age music that I grew up with,” he says with a slight chuckle. “My mom was really into Enya, and I wanted to explore some of those sounds in a very modern way. I wanted to really embrace ethereality.” It’s not hard to hear echoes of “Orinoco Flow” or “Caribbean Blue” in the soft-focus thrum of “Miles,” even the delicate overlay of instruments on “We Got Married,” even the whispered valedictory of “Smoking Too Long.” 

The song “Baby Moses” revisits the sometimes disappointing past. “It was a song I wrote looking back at my twenties and wishing that I'd known then what I know now. Truly Rod Stewart-esque. I wanted to be honest about my disappointment, but also humble enough to not just blame everyone else for my own shortcomings.


 Recorded just outside of El Paso, Texas at the recommendation of James Vincent McMorrow, Klassen booked sessions at Sonic Ranch, a fairly isolated studio where he could lose himself in music, working long days and nights to capture the sounds he heard in his head and to devise all new ones in the studio. Playing the role of producer Klassen played almost all the instruments on the record—a solitary recording experience, but one that kept things focused. “I wanted it to be scary. I have a lot of friends in Vancouver that I’ve worked with in the past, and I have my own little studio as well. But it felt too comfortable here. I needed to challenge myself, so I thought I would go down there and produce it myself in a place I’d never been before, with gear I didn’t know.”

These songs spring from hard experiences—namely, from Klassen’s struggle with depression and his mother’s diagnosis with breast cancer. “I’m kind of an open person,” he admits. “I don’t really hide many things. Writing these songs, I just felt like I was doing what I do. But I hope and I think I’m better at being vulnerable. Or, I’m vulnerable with more clarity.”

That clarity did not come easy. Around the time he was winding down his last tour for his 2013 album, Repentance, Klassen’s mother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. During her first round of chemotherapy, doctors discovered it had spread to her lymph nodes. Her son wrote about the experience on “Delilah”, one of the most affecting songs on the album. With its gently strummed guitar theme, cascades of prismatic piano notes, and curious glockenspiel solo, it sounds like the aching heart of Javelin. “It was me wanting to give her a gift and in the process to say, just keep going. It’s going to be okay. I’m here.” 

Fortunately, her cancer is in remission, and for now Klassen is hopeful. And that’s the key to this complex album. Despite the fears and despairs that motivated these songs, there is always a kernel of hope illuminating the music from the inside. It’s the spark in the emphatic performances, the motor that drives these intricate arrangements, which gives the impression of songs that reach out to embrace the world rather than retreating or recoiling.

Crafting this album was, Klassen says, therapeutic, yet he is hesitant to use more concrete terms like “healing” or “recovery,” which suggest an end to things. His journey continues, and the terrain isn’t quite as rocky as it had been. The experience, he concludes, “helped me to just own things. It makes things solid, makes them tangible. But I think life always takes a long time. I didn’t just write these songs and walk away feeling great. It’s good enough right now just to have a historical document of what I’ve been through the last couple of years.”

Klassen begins a two month European tour on January 14. Canadian tour dates will be announced shortly.


01 Glory B
02 Gargoyles
03 No Salesman
04 Baby Moses
05 Miles
06 We Got Married
07 St Fraser
08 Delilah
09 Light In The Evening
10 Smoking Too Long



Jan 14 - Galway, IRE @ Roisin Dubh
Jan 15 - Dublin, IRE @ The Grand Social
Jan 16 - Belfast, IRE @ Empire Music Hall
Jan 18 - Cambridge, UK @ Junction 2
Jan 19 - Norwich, UK @ Norwich Arts Centre
Jan 20 - York, UK @ The Duchess
Jan 22 - Glasgow, UK @ Oran Mor
Jan 23 - Edinburgh, UK @ Mash House
Jan 24 - Aberdeen, UK @ The Lemon Tree
Jan 26 - Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
Jan 27 - New Castle, UK @ The Cluny
Jan 29 - Liverpool, UK @ Arts Club
Jan 30 - Manchester, UK @ The Ruby Lounge
Jan 31 - Cardiff, UK @ The Globe
Feb 2 - Bristol, UK @ Thekla
Feb 3 - Brighton, UK @ Komedia
Feb 4 - London, UK @ Islington Assembly Hall
Feb 6 - Amsterdam, NE @ Paradiso (Upstairs)
Feb 8 - Berlin, DE @ Privatclub
Feb 9 - Copenhagen, DK @ Ideal Bar
Feb 10 - Gothenburg, SE @ Pustervik
Feb 12 - Stockholm, SE @ Debaser Ballroom
Feb 13 - Norrköping, SE @ Where’s The Music Festival
Feb 14 - Malmö, SE @ Malmö Live
Feb 16 - Madrid, ES @ El Sol
Feb 18 - Barcelona, ES @ Barts Club
Feb 19 - Zaragoza, ES @ Las Armas
Feb 20 - San Sebastian, ES @ Le Bukowski
Feb 29 - Munich, DE @ Milla
Mar 1 - Cologne, DE @ Studio 672
Mar 2 - Hamburg, DE @ Kukuun