Here is the latest of our occasional mini-gigs, a series of exclusive performances that we started when lockdowns put a stop to live music. Although concerts and shows have returned, these live recordings continue to allow us to connect with artists in the most intimate way. This mini-gig from Jon Stancer is a perfect example – it feels as if he’s playing and singing in the room right next to you. His emotional, heartfelt vocal over flowing, rolling piano is immediately engaging, drawing you straight into his internal dialogue. This stripped-back version of ‘In Light of Everything’ ensures the listener focuses on Stancer’s intriguing lyrics and the narrative, which focuses on someone who is caught by depression like a fish on a hook and is always, “…the last to leave,” riding the subway at night to avoid their reality.
Over the last couple of years, we have all endured difficult times. Stancer’s new music reflects the distress caused by the pandemic alongside a turbulent period in politics and society. All his frustration, disenchantment and disillusionment has been harnessed to write an emotive new EP ‘In Light Of’, a collection of six songs covering a range of challenging themes, from mental illness to marital difficulties. Stancer shares: “The subject matter isn’t all that rosy, but I think that’s understandable, all things considered, and I also think it’s pretty relatable. And I felt compelled to try to convey what I was feeling and also observing. I was privy to breakdowns. Many people, myself included, felt out of sorts, mentally and emotionally throughout that time. A couple of people I knew took their own lives. There was a darkness that felt far more palpable to me than ever before in my lifetime.”
Although he’s been involved in music for many years, both solo and as a sideman for the likes of John Southworth, this new record has felt like a fresh start. He explains: “I actually view this record as a beginning. I wasn’t always as assured as I feel now. Making this record was a particularly cathartic
experience for me, not only because I had something to keep me busy and engaged throughout the pandemic, but because I think I found myself as a writer, while also getting a lot of pent up shit out of my system.” Indeed.
This is absorbing, intimate stuff from Jon Stancer. Check it out.