Taylor Janzen specializes in beautiful, brooding songs of sadness, but Janzen herself puts on a sunshiny front. “The thing is, my personality isn’t as depressing as my music is,” she said in a statement. You wouldn’t know it from her songs, but the personable Canadian songwriter, who’s being lumped together with fellow masters of the melancholy like Phoebe Bridgers and Julia Jacklin, is actually a part-time Twitter humorist, sounding off on everything from Game of Thrones to Nickelback. On Friday she again “spilled her guts” and shared the title track from her forthcoming EP Shouting Matches, out May 3. Listen to the song below.
Following 2018’s “New Mercies,” “Shouting Matches” is both twinkling and resounding. The song starts like a thoughtfully plucked folk tune before expanding to a full-on rock soundscape. Janzen’s full-bodied voice is core-shaking, and her perceptive lyrics point to a forthcoming catalogue of emotionally complex stories and ideas. On “Shouting Matches,” Janzen questions the light and dark sides of songwriting: “If I see the beauty in everything, how am I supposed to know what to sing when it all burns down?” She says the song is about working through sadness:
This song is about being a little too attached to my sadness. I think sometimes when I’m so used to feeling a certain way and turning it into art or something useful, I start to feel a little trapped inside of it. It’s almost like I don’t know who I am outside of my feelings. This song is just me shifting through that, and trying to find a balance.
Shouting Matches is the follow-up to Janzen’s debut EP Interpersonal. This summer she’s slated to appear at Shaky Knees Festival and Bunbury.
Again, you can listen to “Shouting Matches” below. Further down, watch Janzen perform the song, plus two more, at the Paste Studio in Austin, Texas, during South By Southwest. Keep scrolling for the Shouting Matches cover art.
Shouting Matches Cover Art: