After logging years together in a band (between juggling gigs as disparate as landscaping, swim coaching, and substitute teaching in the inner city school system), the Nashville duo—Jordan Phillips and Adam Stark—emerged in 2015 with their independent self-titled EP. Garnering critical acclaim from the likes of Consequence of Sound, the single “What Are You Waiting For” quietly generated over 323K Spotify streams and counting. As they shared the stage with Panic at the Disco, DNCE, Kesha, Andy Grammer, The All-American Rejects, smallpools, and more, the guys recorded the 2017 follow-up EP and further unlocked the dynamic nature of their pairing: Adam the consummate trained musician and Jordan the primal and passionate poet.
“Adam and I are musical partners in every sense of the word,” says Jordan.
“There is truly nothing we do that isn’t influenced by the other. We both play, produce, and write lyrics, melodies and hooks. Adam is an exceptional musician whose experience includes working as a session and touring lead guitar player. For me, music is guttural. As we’ve been able to develop the live narrative, we’ve been able to develop what the common thread is through all of our music and let this thread influence our songwriting.”
That live energy carries through the new EP. Fiery falsetto resounds over rich and expansive production on “Heaven,” seamlessly marrying an organic vocal with electronic soundscapes. An airy buildup slips into a danceable eighties-style groove on “Tired of LA,” while “A Man I Used To Know” threads together a kaleidoscopic palette of shimmering tones and tempos.
The first single “One In A Million” merges sweeping synths, arena-ready guitars, and a hypnotic hook evocative of Achtung Baby-era U2 with a clever catchiness. “Big concerts have always captivated us. That is the starting point in anything we create; that energy is addicting and what we are drawn to as well as the great artists of our time who had something to say. The likes of Bob Dylan, Kendrick Lamar, and U2. We are influenced by everything. We have a hard drive of 36,000 gigs of various sounds to play around with when recording,” says Adam.
In the end, Apollo LTD continually fulfill a shared dream to venture into new musical territory on the latest EP, and they do so by connecting with each and every song.
“We want people to understand that we’re all experiencing many of the same things,” Jordan leaves off. “Art and creation come from a place of introspection and self-awareness, but also a desire to serve. We want to create art to connect with people—to bring them together. A song can make you feel as if you belong. We know that feeling so well. Transcendent art creates empathy and inclusion. We’re all trying to figure out this ‘being human’ thing. We all wrestle with doubt and darkness, but there is joy to be found in our circumstances and immeasurable beauty that surrounds us every day.”
It’s clear that this duo is on a mission to not only create music that is expansive, otherworldly and energetic but to also send a message that we are not alone.