Interview: Jordan Esker and the Hundred Percent

Jordan Esker and the Hundred Percent, four musicians based in Tampa, have released their second single, “Common Indecency,” proving that no genre is beyond their musical prowess. It’s the slower, more contemplative follow-up to “Taking An Office Day,” the soulful anthem they released last November.

“It’s like a soft ballad but with a lot of loudness to it. That’s the kind of vibe that we’ve been trying with our newer stuff,” said Esker. “Lately, we’ve been trying to give weight to songs no matter the speed they’re played at.”

The lyricism of “Common Indecency” pairs well with its emotional, powerful style. The song opens with Esker’s voice delivering the gripping lyrics, “When people leave the room it’s hard to believe they’re not talking about you.

It captures the anxiety we’ve all experienced before: you walk away from a group of people and know they will say something about you once you’re out of earshot. Whether the things they have to say about you are positive or negative, it’s the uncomfortable truth that people have a nasty habit of pursuing connectedness at the expense of others.

For Esker, the lyrics for “Common Indecency” came quickly. The instrumentation, however, took years for the band to refine.

“It’s undergone many reincarnations over the time of it being mixed and recorded,” he noted.

The band is approaching their new album with a heavier focus on giving songs the space they need to allow each part to sink in. Songs will be more riff-driven, Esker notes, without compromising their melodies.

“Common Indecency” and “Taking An Office Day” are two of the four songs the band has scheduled to release. They are optimistic that an additional handful of demoed songs will be a full-length album by the end of the year.

The band is participating in a contest to be featured on NPR Music’s Tiny Desk series. The song will be re-imagined yet again to make it fit into the smaller environment of Esker’s home studio. A glockenspiel (mini-xylophone), two accordions, and an upright piano will be incorporated for the song’s simplified sound.

You can watch their submission to NPR Music’s Tiny Desk contest here. Listen to “Common Indecency” on Soundcloud, and Bandcamp.