Jane Blanchard released her first solo EP ‘Narcissus’ today.Three songs, and nine minutes deep, it’s an unflinchingly broody break-up album.
Employing fellow David In The Dark bandmates Stefan Westner on drums, and recorded by Dylan Ward, you’d imagine at least a thread of continuity somewhere in there, but this is all Blanchard, and it couldn’t be more of a departure. The poppy, upbeat, summer anthems have been abandoned for a bared soul outpouring, as Jane delves into introspection over her guitar. Apparently she’s the bandmate that puts the Dark in David In The Dark.
“Stefan and I decided to record a few songs about a month ago – it took two evenings to record up in Shiftwork Studio with Dylan. Stefan is exploring a whole new style of drumming. It’s much less pop inspired. More brooding and angsty. This is also my first project ever playing guitar and writing on guitar – so that’s fun too.”
“It’s great to be working on this with Stefan, because we’ve had so much experience working and playing together. I can be both Jane Blanchard – solo artist, and David In The Dark‘s Jane Blanchard. I’m really happy that I can do both. We are certainly playing a lot.”
There’s a healthy amount of angst in there, and if ‘Narcissus’ sounds a bit like a break-up album, it’s because it is. Blanchard easily admits that it was born of on-again-off-again relationship that ended a year ago. ‘Swimmer’, the EP’s closing track was penned immediately following the break-up, but the two others were written in retrospect as recently as two months ago. The post-mortem conducted on both parties leaves Blanchard sounding simultaneously vulnerable, longing, and bitter, but with an almost clinical self-awareness.
“I was in a long-term on and off relationship for a few years. Most – if not all of those songs – are reflections of that. I now realize I’m someone who needs some stability in life, and being in a relationship like that was very detrimental to my mental health. I’m a lot happier now, but it is still a good thing for me to revisit through songwriting.”
“The title is based off of the flower and myth of Narcissus. It’s a reminder to stay true and kind to those who love you and to not get too caught up in yourself. I guess to not be selfish, but being selfish can only get you so far. I think it’s a reminder everyone needs – definitely a reminder I need. The idea of Narcissus is two sided for me. The selfishness of leaving something like that is sometimes what you have to do to better yourself and make your own life better – even if it really hurts the other person. We were both into it – I just realized that it wasn’t a healthy relationship for me.”
Or more to the point Blanchard sums up them album succinctly in her own words, with beautiful relatability: “Jane loves tostitos. She wrote this album about someone she used to eat pizza with but doesn’t anymore – she also loves tacos and beer.” We’ve all been there.
Blanchard promises a series of singles to be released in the near future, but can be heard in the meantime as she packs in the live shows with Westner. David In The Dark, however, just got off tour with Matt Mayes and expect to be touring again in the spring.