19-year-old jxdn (Jaden Hossler) gained massive popularity for his TikTok account and membership to the famous “Sway House.” Using his strength on social media, jxdn has worked to establish himself as a musician, as he has earned well over 20 million streams and climbed over 35 global viral charts with his single song “Comatose.” The star power he possesses caught the eye of DTA Records, Travis Barker’s exclusive record label. Officially signing with DTA, jxdn has dropped a new and gritty hit, “Angels & Demons.”
A guitar with an almost chime-like quality commences the song, along with audio of distant talking and “ooh” vocalization. Rushing air audio ends the prelude, sliding into the opening verse. Sounding intentionally haggard, jxdn sings, “Two-face, two face…Up, down, all night, yeah,” His voice gains a little bit more strength as a pounding drum beat begins, “Can’t escape it ever/On a trip, no train.” There is an air of mystery as the scene is being set in this verse.
High-pitched electronic vocals back jxdn as the synth’s volume grows to meet building background instrumentals. He sings, “And all these angels and demons/Keep shoutin’ and screamin’/I’m fallin’ from Eden.” The story of the song has gained clarity at this point, as he talks about struggling and continuing to fight through the “demons” he’s facing, clearly tying to the title of the song. The Garden of Eden is found in the Bible in Genesis, as the first place humans inhabited. The story says that in Eden, Adam and Eve consumed a forbidden fruit as they were overcome and controlled by their desire. The pair were forced to leave paradise, which sounds similar to the story jxdn is telling, as he sings about being a puppet to his opulent wishes, as he’s “fallin’ from Eden.”
Then a shift occurs. There’s silence as jxdn begins the chorus, crying, “So f*** me like a rockstar… Nothin’ in the world can stop me now!” The ticking synth has combined with layers of slamming drums and electric guitar to create an engulfing and pop-punk feeling. jxdn continues alluding to “rockstars,” a clear expression of his desires. At the beginning of the official music video, shot by Ari Nissenbaum (a producer behind videos for stars like Post Malone), jxdn is seen wearing a semi-classic rock look, with a definite modern flair. Skinny jeans, black Converse, a white rolled sleeve t-shirt, a lit cigarette and a sleeve of doodle-esque tattoos all adorn jxdn as he does straight-arm rock dance moves and headbanging, that could be considered a call to his roots, flipping hair on TikTok. Travis Barker shared with The Music Universe, “I’m bringing rock back!!! You’re gonna hear it with a lot of music/artists I’m producing and signing to my label.”
The pre-chorus and chorus both loop, with the rage behind jxdn’s voice not subsiding. Barker’s influence is clear in the heavy guitar and percussion (Barker is a drummer by origin, after all). jxdn concludes the chorus by showing off some high notes and emotional fragility, singing, “No one in the world can help me now.” There are moments where jxdn’s diphthong enunciation and his vocalizing are close to what is found in modern emo-rap, but his intensity and lyrics have clear rock roots.
“Angels & Demons” is about struggling to face and not be controlled by your demons while trying to find your angels. Pain and conflicted emotions spill out on this track, as consuming want clashes with a wish to escape greed. Incredibly reminiscent of “LIKE A ROCKSTAR” by Chase Atlantic, “Angels & Demons” is still a bold sound from an internet star. Usually, these youthful stars opt for more poppy and squeaky-clean tracks, but jxdn opted for a rougher and raw sound. The song certainly brings a fresh sound to TikTok, as it works to blend modern sounds with pop-punk elements. “Angels & Demons” is dark, angry, hurt and the potential first mark of what could very well be a “rockstar” for the digital age.
You can stream “Angels & Demons” everywhere now.