Hailing originally from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Jane Blanchard made the decision to cross the Atlantic, and settled in her current home of Edinburgh. Since her arrival, Jane has set about establishing herself on the Scottish music-scene, catching the ear of the self-described, “tiny DIY record label”, Gerry Loves Records, who will next month release Jane’s brand-new EP, Still, Again.
Jane recently shared the first taste of the EP, in the shape of Missing Me, a visceral release, full of crashing guitar, passionate vocal howls and clattering drum-beats, recalling acts like Squirrel Flower or Magana. Today, Jane has shared the record’s second offering and title-track, Still, Again. The song showcases a lighter touch than Missing Me, yet still hits right to the emotional core. Still Again slides in on a breezy guitar line, and bounding Radiohead-like drum-beat, before being joined by Jane’s vocal, wavering with reverb, at times almost spoken word as she seems to grapple with some undefined unsettled feelings, bringing to mind some of our favourite acts like Mothers or Neighbor Lady. As introductions go, Still, Again is a compelling one, an artist who both deserves and demands your attention, when the EP arrives next month, don’t be surprised if it ends up being one of the finest you hear all year.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Jane Blanchard?
Jane Blanchard is me! I’m originally from Fredericton, New Brunswick in Canada – but I relocated to Edinburgh, Scotland several years ago. I play in a duo with my drummer, Stefan Westner. We also run FLOURISH Festival which is a not for profit DIY festival in Fredericton. My music has been described (quite rightly) as sensitive and savage.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Our first show was in my hometown a venue called The Capital. The Capital is the epicenter of music in Fredericton – it’s a community, much like local venues across the world. My first show was a part of Shifty Bits Circus, which was a DIY music festival run by my friend Penelope Stevens (of Motherhood). Playing in a venue that feels like home and surrounded by friends is the best first show someone can ask for.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
I’ve always made music and it has always been the most comfortable form of expression for me. My dad is a drummer and has always played in bands. Instruments were always around the house, and expression through music was always something that was encouraged. I love making music because you can show your full range of emotions, and really blow off some steam. Writing and performing has become a form of therapy for me, and I wouldn’t be able to function without it.
FTR: What can people expect from the Jane Blanchard live show?
I love playing live because it is an opportunity to connect with the audience and also play around with your own power as a performer. I love playing with dynamics and tempos – I like being able to quiet an audience by lowering my volume and to surprise them with louder and more energetic pieces. Most of all, playing live is fun. People can expect to laugh a little bit, to rock out, and to hopefully find a few moments of peace. My songs aren’t the happiest, so it isn’t out of the ordinary to shed a tear or two.
FTR: What’s next for Jane Blanchard?
We will be back on stage and playing live again as soon as possible throughout Canada and the UK. While we wait for that, I have been writing some demos in lockdown which I am sure will see the light of day.
They Listen To…
Debby Friday – Fatal
Motherhood – Costanza
Backxwash – Don’t Come to the Woods
WHOOP-Szo – Gerry
L-Space – Bloom Rapids
Still Again is out July 3rd via Gerry Loves Records. Click HERE for more information on Jane Blanchard.