A real emotional rollercoaster of an EP from London-based American singer songwriter Ian Janco, as he takes us on a journey of loss and heartbreak, told through his passion-filled vocals and a combination of minimalist guitar rhythms and piano notes.
The introduction really sets the mood for what is to come, with a selection of sparse bird songs painting a picture of real aloneness and solace, themes which he explores in depths through the following five tracks, and through which he takes you on a journey where you feel truly connected to him.
Something Newtakes us straight into the heart of what this EP is all about. The sombre qualities of his voice combined with the solemn instrumentals really set the scene for the lyrical content that it portrays. The running theme throughout is one of heartbreak, to an almost despairing level, which leaves the protagonist wondering if he can go on, or how he will ever recover.
He conveys this emotion best on what is also the high point of the release, Long Way Down. His vocals are left with a less defined quality on this piece, giving a real sense of loneliness and helplessness, as he pleads for what he has lost with real raw, heartfelt emotion. There is real honesty engrained into his lyrics as he reflects on how “Love has a way of fading out”, and its this honesty which draws you in, and makes you feel a real bond with him as the story continues song by song.
In Castawaythe pain is perhaps more prominent due to the eerie tone of the piano which hangs heavy over the track, almost like a dark cloud which won’t lift, battled hard by his vocals which find a way to break through. The fullest sound though the EP though comes onA Brighter Day. A more complete sound than on previous songs, it brings in a folkish guitar beat to move the track along with more promise, and gives it a feeling that perhaps despite the bleakness within it, there are better days to come. Perhaps aptly to the name, it still feels like a track for a rainy day, wishing for something better to come.
The EP comes to its conclusion with the title track, Rapture, which has a more floaty quality than the rest of the tracks, with a certain weightlessness to its sound, bringing the whole thing to a quite melancholy end. As with the previous song, there does seem to be a hint of hope somewhere within it, even if it is bittersweet, it gives the listener hope that he can find a way through it.
This is a collection of songs which all follow a similar pattern, but each has its own little interesting development on the theme, giving the finished product the feeling of a real story that you experience throughout the six tracks. You come away feeling like you know him and everything he’s been through, like you have deeply connected with him, despite having only listened to his words for little over twenty minutes. That is where the real beauty of Rapture lies, within its honesty, its despair, and its emotion. A tear or two may be shed listening to it, but it’s well worth it. A beautiful collection.