Jon Stancer just gave us a new EP that takes a wonderful pop sensibility and brings it into a lush a full soundscape that takes you for a bit of a musical journey to say the least.
The In Light Of EP is certainly pretty personal and sounds like chapters in one man's life being put out there in the only way he knows how. Through song.
The record boasts quite a subtle softness that slowly warms you right up and makes you think.
These songs swell and sway with beautiful woven synths and keys that build into cinematic and climaxes that are memorable and powerful at times.
You can hear classic rock influence and the songs take on feels from different sub-genres and even decades as well.
Piano based masterpieces are riddled with emotion and colorful backing vocal harmonies that bleeding and out from song to song.
Touches of psychedelia phase in and out as well while vocals sendoff such an alluring vulnerability and melodic overtone.
The songs become so vast and open with gorgeous hooks in the form of horns, synths, and vocals that it's easy to get washed away with this entire record.
With such a great release we wanted to have a quick sit down with Stancer to talk shop about this EP.
Here's how it went down.
RAG: I'm certainly hearing some different styles mixed in on this one. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
70s Genesis. Tears For Fears during the 80s. Blur in the 90s. Talking Heads. Neil Young. Neil Diamond. Neil Sedaka… But influences change all the time. There can be influences that I’m not conscious of. And there are music writers who have said that they hear this or that and quite often, it’s something I’ve never even heard of. So there you go.
RAG: So how did this all start for you as an artist?
There was always some form of music playing throughout the house when I was growing up. Whether a record, or the radio, or my mother or sister on the piano. I started playing the guitar at age 10. When I was around 11, I had an opportunity to show off my vast talents for my classmates. I performed an instrumental version of a Beatles song - I was much too shy to sing in public - which was me strumming 3 or 4 of the same chords on a guitar for a few minutes. It couldn’t have been very good, but when I finished, everyone went berserk. It was shocking. I thought that if I could generate that sort of reaction now, what might it be like if I were actually any good? And so I decided to work at it some more. My first original song came fairly soon after. Also, not very good. But it excited me to be able to do that. So I stayed with it.
RAG: Do you do any live performances?
Yes. I like to play live and will again.
RAG: What kind of things inspire you to write?
Lately, I’ve found myself writing about things that surprise or concern me; about the state of the world, or involving personal experiences or those of others, that are somehow of interest or significant to me. I’m not typically one to invent a character or make up a story. I’ve always written primarily from my own outlook, impressions, encounters and exploits.
RAG: Can we expect any music videos coming this year?
If there’s some new music this year then it’s conceivable there could be videos. I did just release one from this record called “In Light Of Everything” and there are 2 other videos for songs from this record as well. All on YouTube and elsewhere.
RAG: What's next for you as an artist? Is there anything new in the works even now?
I have started writing new songs. I’ll likely continue to do that and see where it leads.
RAG: Do you collaborate to produce your songs? What are you performing along with vocals on this EP?
My friend, Dan Kurtz (The New Deal, Dragonette), co-produced this record with me. I’m playing piano and keyboards on it.
RAG: This EP feels like a big undertaking. What kind of advice would you have for other up and coming artists out there?
Don’t become discouraged by big undertakings.
RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Thank you very much for listening and I’d love to see you sometime. Perhaps a coffee. ;)