Caiola sings with the steadied whisper of a heart that needs mending on his newest single, “Alaska.”
On the surface, its finger picked guitar sound is reminiscent of something on the “Acoustic Chill” or “Your Favorite Coffeehouse” playlists on Spotify, but hunker down into the lyrics and you’ll find a hidden bed of gems.
Caiola, full name Jordan Caiola, writes with the kind of detail that paints a vivid picture in listeners’ minds, yet he possesses the rare and impressive talent of sharing a specific moment in time and making it applicable to all.
He explains that this song was inspired by “a brief, yet meaningful encounter” with a woman he met on tour.
“In the 4 years since my last serious relationship had ended, I’d become very closed off to the possibility of starting a new one… or anything that went beyond a casual interaction/brief fling,” he says. “This person though, brought me out of that mind-state for just a split second and although it did not and likely could not have worked out, it at least gave me an important eye-opening experience about how my outlook had slowly changed. I began to let go, open up and welcome any opportunities for a real relationship that could come my way in the future.”
Although the specifics of his own relationship are distinct, there is something about the vulnerable whisper in “Alaska” that tugs at the heart and reluctantly brings to mind the relationships that have come and gone for all of us.
That freeflow of authenticity is something Caiola strives for in his songwriting.
“I think I write my best when I let go of expectations. When I pick up my guitar, I am rarely completely focused on writing one kind of song for one particular project (I have 3 separate projects at this point in 3 different genres). I like to start to write and let the song dictate the direction it will go. I think that leaves all possibilities wide open and makes it really fun for me. Once it starts heading down whichever road/genre, I will start tailoring it more to that sound.”
In this case, the tailoring process happened alongside fellow musicians Shane Woods and Jeff Lucci, who ended up tying the song together with artful ease.
“At first, I only wanted the song to be guitar and vocals, but in messing around one night and jamming, Shane started playing that half-time brush groove over my finger picking, and I fell in love with it,” he explains. “I always knew I would want Jeff to add some finishing touches, and I think those textures brought the recording to the next level. As far as the vocals go, I had a very good idea of where I wanted to double, triple, harmonize, etc. and I think we executed it nicely.”
While Caiola attributes inspiration to the likes of Jose Gonzales, Bon Iver and Phoebe Bridgers, he carefully forges his own musical path.
The most beautiful part about “Alaska” is that Caiola takes his time with it.
He doesn’t rush into a crescendo but instead guides the listener, queuing them up for the last third of the song in which he builds up to an emotive and tender stream of consciousness only to slow things back down in the end, urging introspection while gradually fading out.
He hopes this song will resonate with his audience and remind them that every relationship holds value although it might not be apparent in the moment.
“I think just about everyone has had a fleeting love affair at one point or another that may have more purpose in the long run than they think. It might not be with the ‘right’ person… but could unintentionally lead you to the right one in the future or at the very least push you towards welcoming something more serious down the line.”
Check out “Alaska” below.