By Samuel Stevens
Release Date: August 10, 2018
Interpersonal, Taylor Janzen’s brand spanking new 4 track effort touches on subjects close to herself, such as mental illness, emotional abuse, and religion in her immensely open, yet signature form of confessional songwriting. Her music is most notably reminiscent of the likes of Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker, but I can think of a few more artists that can be added to the list. Taylor also has a singing voice described by many to be similar to Paramore vocalist Hayley Williams.
Interpersonal opens with the first of four massive emotionally driven songs, “Stations”. “Stations,” which also happens to be the efforts lead single, is about emotional abuse. The tune features a very soft, simple, but melodic electric guitar, topped off with her distressing and defenseless tone of singing.
On one of two of the efforts only acoustic tracks, “The Waiting Room”, Taylor bears out her frustration of always sitting in waiting rooms and doctor’s offices. She’s pleading that she no longer wants to be within these enclosed spaces for various reasons while she’s seeking treatment for her mental health. “The Waiting Room” features beautiful demonstration of melodies upon her staple soft, simple, melodic solo guitar stylings.
The penultimate track, “Colourblind”, is yet another powerfully written tune by Taylor Janzen. On this song, Taylor is heard singing about the struggles of growing up and the relationship and stigma from the church regarding mental health. On stage at her album release she said briefly that “Colourblind” was the song she was most scared of putting out into the world for people to hear.
The last track on Interpersonal is the second acoustic tune, “Better Now”. Taylor on this particular song is heard urging her friends, family, and whomever else, that she is now better, but in denial that she actually isn’t. Yet another painstaking look into Taylor’s mental illness, Taylor bears it all out for the listeners again, as she has on all of, Interpersonal. Additionally at the album release show, Taylor jokingly stated that “Better Now” was written while cleaning urinals at her place of work and wanted to initially title the track something to do with such, but ultimately chose not to do so.
On the evening of August 10th, the same date as the release of Interpersonal, Taylor Janzen hosted an album release show at The Handsome Daughter, which is located in Winnipeg’s West Broadway neighbourhood. This show actually marked Taylor’s first headline show in Winnipeg, so what an awesome way to celebrate such a milestone by being able to perform all of Interpersonal in its entirety. Taylor was joined by guests Olivia Lunny and Cassidy Mann. Might I add the weather this day was a scorcher. So with very minimal, if any, air conditioning at all inside the venue resulted in a sweaty, humid environment for all in attendance. Despite the warmer temperatures and humidity within the crowded room at The Handsome Daughter, the music performed by all three talented ladies during the evening made it completely bearable to get a tad sweaty and enjoy an evening of good tunes.
Taylor’s set consisted of a couple of her older tunes off her now year old EP, Fear and Faith, that was released back in June 2017, her fan favorite song, “Dennis Quaid”, which she stated on stage was intentionally meant to be on Interpersonal, but things changed, as sometimes they do. Taylor performed the entire track list of Interpersonal out-of-order, not that it really matters what order they are performed in anyways. Taylor also performed a beautiful rendition of, while offering her unique voice to “Nineteen”, the 2008 single by Tegan and Sara, off their 2007 album, The Con. Taylor jokingly said she wanted to perform “Nineteen” because both it’s a good song and that she just recently turned nineteen herself.
I unquestionably have no qualms that Taylor Janzen will shortly be riding a wave a success from the release of Interpersonal. Rather it be recording even more new more music, performing in front of larger local or non-local crowds, or even full on touring. She just recently performed her first gig out her hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba in Los Angeles, California late last month so I can only imagine she wants to get out there and perform around the globe. Please make sure to stream Interpersonal now on your preferred streaming service, or by purchasing Interpersonal on iTunes.