- Tracy Heck
Jane. readying debut EP release with new single 'For You, For Blue'
Photo by Bradley J. Calder
LA indie singer/songwriter Jane., the new project moniker of Raj Jain, has released his second single, "For You, For Blue," which is off of his debut EP, What a Wonderful Time To Be Barely Alive, which comes out on November 19th.
The song is his dedication to a special person in his life and their dog Blue.
Jane.'s beautiful brand of "lullabies" evokes the 90's aesthetic of dream pop and brit-pop and is music that will stay with you long after your first listen.
Rock Life recently caught up with Raj who shared a bit about the upcoming release and how his sound was formed.
Q: How did the track "For You, For Blue" come together and where did the idea for the video come from? When you are working on new music, do you already have a visual representation of it in your mind?
Raj Jain: "For You, For Blue" really came out of experimentation during lock down. I wanted to try pushing what the concept of a singer/songwriter was and had stumbled onto this new sound.
It was the second song I’d written for what turned out to be my album and I really felt that I’d stumbled onto something. There was this tenderness and delicateness that the music held and I wanted to contrast that with the visual. Something a little more rough and off the cuff.
When creating my music, I have a color palette in mind and a few visual key points. Nature and its power was the focus from an aesthetic point.
Q: What can people expect from What a Wonderful Time To Be Barely Alive? Can you talk a bit about the process of putting the album together and what do you want people to take away from listening to it?
RJ: It’s intimate and it’s from my heart. It’s my take on a singer/songwriter record.
I was listening to a lot of dream pop and ambient music along with a lot of brit-pop and garage and idm stuff. It’s really my most honest offering and I keep saying that.
I say that because typically in modern music there is a lot of hands involved in making a record. Different songwriters, each song a different producer, then a mixer and a mastering engineer. I made this record in my studio at home, then took it to my friend/engineer Peter Labberton and re-recorded some stuff and I sat over his shoulder as he mixed it.
I hope people can connect to the spirit of the record. I pushed myself to be outdoors, be in nature, spend time in the ocean, and I think that really reflected in the record.
I speak of universal truths and a lot of self reflection. That wouldn’t have been able to come through without my time outdoors reconnecting to my source.
Q: I read that the ocean is a big inspiration for you. Can you elaborate on how it has helped form your music style?
RJ: Re-connecting to the ocean was a real catalyst to my process. I run pretty hot most days. Not temperature-wise, but I’m kind of firing on all cylinders.
Starting my day in the ocean really helped ground me. There’s this peace I get when I leave the beach. Surfing being a early morning activity also kept me tame in the night.
I can find myself acting up a bit if some of my energy or focus isn’t being used for something positive. Sitting in the ocean waiting for waves allows a lot of time for reflection and thought. I don’t really have many other times I’m that centered throughout my day.
Q: Much of your music evokes that nineties pop sound. What is it about that period that appeals to you? For those that haven't heard your music, how would you describe it?
RJ: There was this truth that came through in that era. It’s something I love so much about the Manchester Brit pop thing. Noel Gallagher (Oasis) had his guitar and spoke his truth and people found connection in it, same goes for Richard Ashcroft (The Verve.) It was simple and true.
You get a different version of the same thing a few years later and some miles away with Radiohead. I hope to evoke a similar emotion in my music.
I hope people are able to understand me as a person or my life a bit more through the record. I didn’t want to hide behind a lot of production. No big budget videos. I didn’t want to put on “photo shoot outfits." I just want this record and its presentation to be a sonic version of me.
Q: What is your biggest goal moving forward?
RJ: To grow really. My voice to grow, my abilities, my connection. I am working on constantly shaping my delivery and refining it.
So, when I’m writing music or directing one of my videos or producing the record, it’s a crystal clear vision and I'm working from my heart.
Q: What was it that made you want to make music and is there a moment or artist that you were first exposed to that helped form that decision?
RJ: I was able to watch the process of a band succeed from a really close perspective, The Neighbourhood, which really helped me understand that this can be done.
Then, being exposed to Radiohead really showed me how a band can push music or push a genre. Oasis showed me what it’s like to be yourself and that it’s okay to be ambitious.
Q: What's next for the rest of the year and heading into the new year?
RJ: Well, my record comes out next month and I’m working on some different versions of some songs. I'm booking some shows and I’ve begun writing again. So, I’m kind of focused and chasing that.
Q: Have you been able to perform any of the new tracks on stage and if not, is that something you plan on doing soon?
RJ: I’ve not. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it works. It’s a completely different thing. We’re talking about doing some shows now so we’ll see when I actually do it, but I have a few different visions of how the show will be performed.
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
RJ: Just that I’m really excited and happy. I urge everyone to spend some time alone and really try to find who you are. It’s okay to take time and explore. There’s a voice somewhere inside everyone, sometimes it just takes some effort pulling that voice forward.