EP Review: Ian Janco – Rapture

The Breakdown

'Rapture' is a brilliant collection of honest, emotional, heartfelt tracks which showcase painfully honest writing, and some breathtaking soundscapes.

Indie-folk artist Ian Janco has released the stunning new 6-track EP Rapture, a delicate, intricate and beautiful journey through acoustic guitars, experimental elements and effortlessly affecting vocals.

Opening with ‘Intro (Birdsong)’ Ian quickly sets a dark, experimental and yet hauntingly beautiful tone before the EP bursts into life on the infectious, moving and hugely catchy ‘Something New’. A track which fully introduces Ian’s unique sound which blends the layered vocals and acoustic lines of Bon Iver’s debut album For Emma, Forever Ago with a more poppy edge with a bouncing beat, cinematic strings and a full band which enters the chorus.

Track three, ‘Long Way Down’ see’s Janco venture further into the realms of Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens with interlocking finger-picked guitar melodies and a gently swaying vocal line which creates a breezy, emotional yet summery mood – beautiful, melancholic and somewhat overwhelming this is my personal highlight of the EP and encapsulates everything great about Ian’s style. Lyrically hard-hitting the track offers a gentle, alternative-folk soundscape yet also holds a deceptively catchy melody and effortless reliability.

Elsewhere on the EP ‘Castaway’ see’s Janco at his most honest and vulnerable, as he delves into a reminiscence of a broken relationship with an impactfully gravelly vocal performance over a gently swaying, synth, piano and string-led soundscape.

‘A Brighter Day’ and the title track ‘Rapture’ see Janco close out the EP with the same Acoustic guitar and strings-led soundscapes from earlier in the EP demonstrating once again his talents as a writer and guitarist as well as his flawless ear for a beautiful and emotionally impactful arrangement.

An EP which has seen Janco through a dark phase in his life, this collection of the tracks is in many ways a source of recovery for the singer-songwriter as he explains: “This is a body of work I composed at the lowest point in my life, and the lowest point in many of our lives. In the thick of the Covid pandemic, I was broke and stuck in London, across the ocean from my family. My career was in standstill and I was questioning if I had any path forward in music. My relationship and my parents’ marriage ended at the same time. I was struggling with physical and mental health issues alone in a dark flat in London, but towards the end of 2020 I was lucky to be offered a friend’s seaside flat in Brighton for a short escape. I wrote and recorded the tracks for what eventually became the foundation of the Rapture EP. Getting this music out of me allowed me to begin to heal, and the reason I stuck with these often painful songs is that I hoped they could help other people feel, heal and grow after a traumatic time for everyone.”

Rapture is a brilliant collection of honest, emotional, heartfelt tracks which showcase painfully honest lyricism, and some breathtaking soundscapes. Beauty is at the heart of everything Ian Janco does but there is also a commercial element within some of his vocal lines, the odd catchy hook which takes this beyond what you would expect upon hearing the first few notes. A really solid effort that is well worth your time.

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