Jordan Sellergren performs as part of Englert’s ‘Stages’ program

On Wednesday night, local musician Jordan Sellergren’s virtual performance for the Englert’s Stages program premiered. Sellergren performed her soulful songs alongside guitarist Randall Davis.


Kate Heston

Jordan Sellergren, mother, songwriter, and artist performed online at the Englert Theatre Wednesday night.

Megan Conroy, Arts Reporter

In the streaming glow of blue and red lights, singer-songwriter Jordan Sellergren and guitarist Randall Davis opened their 30-minute pre-recorded show with the song, “My Ego is An Eagle” on Englert’s stage.

Sellergren introduced herself in a voiceover as the Art Director of Little Village and someone whose whole life is art, in a way. 

In an interview with The Daily Iowan before the show, she said with a live show nervousness strikes — she only decides whether or not she nailed the performance once the show is over. Her Wednesday night show brought on even more nerves, as it had been recorded three weeks ahead of time, giving Sellergren much time to think and worry about the performance. 

“I’m as curious as anybody to see the show, probably more so,” Sellergren said with a laugh ahead of Wednesday.

For the Englert performance, Sellergren and Davis played electric guitars with a retro aesthetic to match her outfit and sound. 

Sellergren, clad in cowboy boots to match, filled the otherwise empty Englert with her soulful yet soft voice. The lyrics to her songs like “I need to talk to somebody, I can’t get out of my mind,” packed an emotional, poetic punch. 

Most of the songs from her performance came from her latest album, Sweet, Bitter Tears. 

Her songs covered a range of topics, including motherhood, missed connections between people, mental states, and love. Each song transitioned into the next with chord progressions and the occasional comment from Sellergren. 

The musician told the DI she’s been creating music for as long as she can remember, but became serious about songwriting in 2009, when she was 27 years old.  

The COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench in Sellergren’s musical plans, including her first year with a full band. 

“2019 was the first year I had a band with a drummer and a bass player. That quickly came to an end after only one wonderful month,” she said. 

Sellergren explained that since the pandemic hit, she’s retreated back into her office — which doubles as her music room — to write her music. The musician added that since she’s on her own, she has the opportunity to get more experimental with her music.  

RELATED: Kevin Burt gives soulful blues performance at Elray’s Live and Dive

Sellergren said she has done a few other virtual performances during the pandemic, but shifted to only performing them when asked by arts organizations. Instead, she added that she wants to use her time to hone her craft. 

Her last in-person show took place at The Sanctuary over one year ago.

“We played at Sanctuary, and it was just full of friends,” she said. “It was just kind of lively, somewhat chaotic, and people were out having a good time. I felt like we were kind of like the background music for people just having a good night. That is probably my favorite part of performing.” 

She explained that she’s more accustomed to having a band and playing moody shows where the audience must listen closely, so when she can play a lively show, she enjoys it. 

While Sellergren filled her show with more music than words, she did thank viewers for listening. Her performance concluded with the same red and blue haze of the lights from over the stage.