Tay­lor Janzen | Fall Film Fes­ti­vals | The Way We Were | The Only Girl: My Life and Times on the Mast­head of Rolling Stone

Exclaim! - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - By Ava Muir

IN RE­CENT YEARS, DIS­CUS­SION SUR­ROUND­ING MEN­TAL ILL­NESS in the mu­sic in­dus­try has risen in both preva­lence and ne­ces­sity. Tay­lor Janzen, a 19-year-old Win­nipeg na­tive, adds her voice with the re­lease of In­ter­per­sonal. The four-song EP hears the singer-song­writer evoca­tively peel back her lay­ers to re­veal starkly raw mus­ings on men­tal health, Chris­tian­ity and the tri­als of grow­ing up.

De­spite swelling with melan­choly, In­ter­per­sonal never wal­lows in its sad­ness. In­stead, Janzen trans­forms her most painful mo­ments into tid­bits of so­lace. An­chored by her ten­der vo­cals and the sim­ple yet strong strum of a gui­tar, each track ar­tic­u­lates the bud­ding tal­ent’s con­fes­sions in a way that is both in­tro­spec­tive and re­lat­able.

Recorded at Janzen’s friend’s house in the dead of a Canadian win­ter, In­ter­per­sonal found its way into the hands of leg­endary mas­ter­ing en­gi­neer, Greg Calbi ( The Na­tional, St. Vin­cent, Fleet Foxes). Calbi’s touch pushes In­ter­per­sonal past the bound­aries of bed­room record­ings, while still re­tain­ing its lo-fi and in­ti­mate qual­i­ties.

As Janzen hones her artistry, her in­vest­ment in other musi- cians serves as a cat­a­lyst. On a re­cent trip to Toronto, she queued for hours along­side friends to se­cure a good view of Paramore’s per­for­mance at the Bud­weiser Stage. “I love at­tend­ing shows now more, be­cause I have a lit­tle bit of knowl­edge of what goes into mak­ing them and it’s huge,” she says. “I think that, if any­thing, I’m al­most more of a fan now that I’ve seen the other end more. I’m ap­pre­ci­at­ing a lot more what it takes to be vul­ner­a­ble in your mu­sic and cre­ate art that’s au­then­tic.”

Janzen achieves this on In­ter­per­sonal, tran­scend­ing mere sad­ness in her songs. In­stead, they re­flect the com­plex­ity of hu­man emo­tion and of­fer an em­pa­thetic guide through mo­ments of bleak de­spair.

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