Welcome to the cathartic listening experience to be found within Ian Janco’s six-track Rapture EP. It arrives following the release of emotional singles ‘Something New’ and ‘Castaway’, which drew in attention from Alexrainbird Music, Mahogany, Notion, Songwriting Magazine, Indie Folk Central, Tongue Tied Magazine and many more from the alt-folk, indie and singer-songwriter community. Altogether, the EP is sonic retelling of Janco’s journey through heartbreak, isolation and major life events that collided together all at the same time, as he shares below.
“This is a body of work I composed at the lowest point in my life, and the lowest point in many of our lives. In the thick of the Covid pandemic, I was broke and stuck in London, across the ocean from my family. My career was in standstill and I was questioning if I had any path forward in music. My relationship and my parents’ marriage ended at the same time. I was struggling with physical and mental health issues alone in a dark flat in London, but towards the end of 2020 I was lucky to be offered a friend’s seaside flat in Brighton for a short escape. I wrote and recorded the tracks for what eventually became the foundation of the Rapture EP. Getting this music out of me allowed me to begin to heal, and the reason I stuck with these often painful songs is that I hoped they could help other people feel, heal and grow after a traumatic time for everyone.”
The EP starts with ‘Intro (Birdsong)’ an obscure and cinematic instrumental introduction track, which combines birdsong with abstract violins, unpredictable piano notes and a warped production style. From there, we immediately step into one of Janco’s most commercially promising singles, ‘Something New’, which encapsulates the slow process of healing from heartbreak against a backdrop of uptempo americana and pop-leaning melodies. Next is the EP focus track ‘Long Way Down’, chosen for this role because it walks that line between melancholia and hope, the two key tenets of Rapture. This warm, analog single incorporates intricately plucked acoustic guitar and layered vocals, conveying a lighthearted nostalgia and acceptance that things are ultimately meant to end.
After the halfway point, we’re met with one of the most emotionally poignant moments of the EP in ‘Castaway’. Here Ian Janco is at his most vulnerable, admitting all that he’s lost and the feelings that gripped him a the time in with a voice that grows from hushed sing-speak to gravelled projections. As we approach the end of this song, the steady instrumentation becomes meshed with other voices, like the memories of his old relationship lingering in the back of his mind.
Our penultimate listen is ‘A Brighter Day’, a more optimistic approach to nostalgia at the near-end of Janco’s recovery. Sweet piano, tender acoustic guitar and lilting melodies in an early Bon Iver style come together here. Last but not least, we have the EP’s title-track ‘Rapture’. It’s a more lofi recording with raw acoustic strums and minimalist elements, over which the artist’s reverberated voice expresses sincere vulnerability.
There really are no weak links in Ian Janco’s Rapture EP; each track serves a purpose and shows off the singer-songwriter’s flexible approach to recording and production, while keeping consistent with the story of this beautifully bittersweet record.
Multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and producer Ian Janco’s passion and dedication to music has taken him on quite the journey. Born and raised in the remote wilderness of Idaho’s Rocky Mountains, Janco began making music at a young age.
A move to California in his teenage years solidified his calling as a collaborative musician and launched him as a solo artist. Janco played drums, keys, guitar and bass for a handful of local bands, while honing his skills as a songwriter and recording artist. A busking trip across Europe at age 18 landed him in Liverpool, where he then attended Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.
Having honed his craft as a performer on the UK venue circuit, he’s supported acts such as Emmylou Harris, Ward Thomas, Isaac Gracie, Lauren Daigle and Wildwood Kin. His debut single ‘Life’ was premiered by Graham Norton on Radio 2, with subsequent support from BBC Radio London, Radio Merseyside, Wonderland, Clash and Acoustic Magazine.
Instead of returning to America after graduating (and writing a song with McCartney himself), Janco took a further leap and moved to London, where he now resides and works as a full time musician. Having embraced his role as a polymath creative, he has penned songs for the likes of JP Cooper, written numerous compositions which can be heard on Film & TV programs around the world, and collaborated with London’s dance and arts scene.
Janco’s new music is a culmination of his journey. The forthcoming Rapture EP is a body of work stemming from heartbreak, but glowing with the warmth and richness of an artist finding his sound after a whirlwind of societal upheaval, cultural inspiration and personal tumult.
His sound has drawn comparisons to Ray Lamontagne, Vance Joy, Sufjan Stevens, Stevie Appleton, and early Bon Iver. With a knack for vivid lyrics and memorable choruses, Ian is an artist with a lifelong commitment to his vocation – and he shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.
SOURCE: Official Bio
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