With her stunningly sparse melodies and minimalistic guitar riffs, 19 year old Taylor Janzen may seem softly spoken, but her staggering lyrical narrative and deeply personal writing sends a resounding message. Today, she returns with her sophomore EP, "Shouting Matches" premiering on NOISEY.
The Winnipeg artist garnered praise from the likes of New York Times with her debut EP,"Interpersonal", which was mastered by Greg Calbi (Julien Baker, Arcade Fire, Big Thief), and co-produced by Taylor. With further praise from NYLON, Paste, Noisey, i-D and more, Taylor kicked off the year as an Official Artist at SXSW where she performed at the Rolling Stone Emerging Artist Showcase and NPR featured her in their coveted Austin 100.
Unlike her first EP which was recorded in the basement of her house in Winnipeg in the dead of winter, Taylor embraced a different approached for "Shouting Matches." Produced/mixed by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Phoebe Bridgers), and mastered by Joe LaPorta (Lauren Daigle, Vance Joy) Taylor recorded with a full band and in a studio environment. She told NOISEY, "The recording of the first EP was very DIY," Janzen said, "whereas this new EP was the first time in real studio. [Mogis] really helped me take these songs and turned them into what we needed them to be."
From the slow burning, "New Mercies," to the unadorned and guitar heavy verses of "Prodigal Son", or the resoundingly hopeful, "Dennis Quaid", Shouting Matches almost didn't see the light of day. "I feel like Shouting Matches is full of songs that I didn't think I'd put out," Janzen told Noisey. "They're terrifying for me but they're my favorite songs that I've ever written."
Taylor explains, "I was about to graduate from high school and I was just going through a time where I was constantly anxious. I'd just started playing music in the local scene. I just had this fear - this imposter syndrome situation. I thought that I sucked and I was waiting for people to find out that I sucked. I went home and I had this acoustic guitar and I was playing it and I just decided to yell my anxiety over that - just say what I wanted to say without really worrying about if it was poetic or not."
Growing up, Taylor wasn't encouraged to speak through her feelings, so turned to songwriting as an outlet. As a result, with each song we're granted an intimate and almost painstakingly brazen glimpse into the most heart wrenching pages of her diary. She writes candidly, touching on the topics of mental health and emotional abuse, noting that, "the music that I write is very honest, so it speaks for itself."
"The thing is, my personality isn't as depressing as my music is," adds Taylor. Often tweeting about Dennis Quaid (whom she just interviewed for Paste Magazine), her cat Rory Gilmore and the occasional Paramore cover (one of which went viral with 25k+ retweets and got the endorsement from Hayley Williams herself), every little thing Taylor shares with the world is magic, shining a light and finding beauty in even the darkest, and seemingly mundane moments.