TWIN FALLS — From the moment Jordan Thornquest laid his hands on his new Fender Telecaster this past August, the guitar just felt right.
“When I picked that one up and started playing and testing it out, it felt really good,” Thornquest recalled. “Right away it felt like I didn’t have to do any work to get it to sound the way I wanted.”
What made the purchase even better: a feeling he had earned it. The Twin Falls native bought the Telecaster — “nicer than any of the guitars I’ve had before” — with the proceeds from his first album, released Dec. 1, 2017.
Since the release of “Late Bloomer” just over a year ago, a new guitar has been just the tip of the iceberg of Thornquest’s accomplishments. It’s been a big year for the musician, who has in the past twelve months written more music, performed at his first Treefort festival and joined a band.
His songs have been streamed 18,000 times on Spotify, with 900 monthly listeners hailing from 37 countries. Thornquest said he’s received messages from people all over the world who have stumbled across, and been struck by, his album.
“Seeing my music go that far was really exciting,” Thornquest said.
What is it about his music that resonates with a universal audience?
“Based on what people have told me, it’s the fact that it feels personal,” Thornquest said. “I think that people really respond to getting to know what someone is thinking on some sort of intimate level.”
Since playing at TreeFort in March, Thornquest has primarily focused on his role as a guitarist with the Twin-based band Mains and Monitors. The band has submitted an application to play at TreeFort in 2019.
But Thornquest also hopes 2019 will bring more time for solo work. He plans to move to Boise in January to pursue music as a career, though he will still remain a member of Mains and Monitors.
“Living in Twin Falls I can do quite a bit in the studio I have, but it feels rare that I can perform and play because there are so few opportunities to do so,” Thornquest said. “I would love to expand the range of places to play and…find new places to grow.”
Part of that growth as an artist includes branching out from his punk-rock comfort zone. In recent months, Thornquest said, he’s begun experimenting with solo songwriting in other genres, such as dance, electronic and folk.
“I want to see how I can speak my own language, but add my own flavors to it.,” he said. “I feel like I’m just starting to scratch the surface of what there is.”