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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

WeakNights is a continuation of Ian Janes’s exploration of musical styles

While not a significant departure from his usual style, the album does lean more towards pop, soul, R&B, and some jazz influences.

Dartmouth-based singer, songwriter, solo artist, and producer Ian Janes has released his seventh studio album, WeakNights.

I’ve always played a lot of different styles, so WeakNights feels like a continuation of that exploration. – Ian Janes

While not a significant departure from his usual style, Janes says the album does lean more towards pop, soul, R&B, and some jazz influences. “I’ve always played a lot of different styles, so WeakNights feels like a continuation of that exploration,” he says. “It feels like all the years that I’ve been doing it, the style of what I do has been distilled down to be a truly eclectic combination of all the different styles that I love and listen to.”

Taking the album title from the lead track WeakNights, Janes wrote the song inspired by a misheard lyric in Any Fool from his 2017 release Yes Man.

“The song is about a character who keeps going back to the same relationship, which he knows is doomed to fail,” he says. “In the song, I talk about the character having a ‘weakened resolve’ and can’t stop going back. Someone said they heard the lyric as a ‘weekend result’ and when I mentioned it to my wife she said the same thing.”

Embracing the mondegreen, Janes says the song reflects what it can be like for those who live for the weekend. “Those are the nights when he feels lonely versus the weekend, when he’s partying or going to church,” he says. “There’s lots of reason to be in a good mood on the weekend, but sometimes on a Tuesday night, he’s sitting there and Netflix is playing an additional episode after additional episode and he’s lonely by himself. Maybe those are his weak nights.”

WeakNights is also an example of Janes taking a song title and working backwards, a writing process he says he learned while working in Nashville. “It really evolves your craft when you sit down and you work backwards from an idea,” he says. “I don’t always write the same way, but in this case, I did.”

WeakNights is now available on most streaming platforms.
WeakNights is now available on most streaming platforms.

With a clock radio as the album cover, Janes explains it represents someone having a ‘weak night’ where they may not sleep well because things are weighing heavily on their minds. It is also a departure from many of his other album covers. “I was thinking of how to represent [the album] visually and I think every one of my other records had a photo of me and I thought maybe people had seen enough of me and maybe I don’t need my face on there,” he says with a laugh.

Janes also says WeakNights became an accidental common thread with a song from his 2022 album, Episode Five. “I have a song on my last record called Sleepless that talks a little bit about that same concept of waking up in the middle of the night repeatedly and not being able to sleep,” he says.

Janes says that recording a new album usually comes together when he has a group of strong songs and the necessary resources. “It basically kind of comes down to time, money and songs. If I have the right ones and three triangles line up, I’m good to go,” he says.

Collaboration is another significant aspect of Janes’s music. In addition to releasing this latest album, Janes recently wrote and performed the chorus to Classified’s new song, Amnesia, off the Nova Scotia rapper’s latest album, Luke’s View. “That’s the second song he sampled off my last record Episode Five,” he says.

In addition to contributing to the Classified song, Janes appears in the official video. “I’m no actor, but I told him I would give it a shot,” says Janes. “It was a lot of fun. There are some really great artists in it, and it has a pretty contagious element.

With the new album under his belt, Janes is preparing for an album release show at The Carleton on May 22 and 23 and shows at the Harvest Festival in Fredericton and the Osprey Arts Centre in Shelburne this fall. “And hopefully maybe do a couple of shows with Classified as things come together,” he says.

Ian Janes’ WeakNights is available now on all streaming platforms. You can learn more about Ian Janes and his music at ianjanes.com and follow him on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and TikTok.

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