Basshead and pop queen Delaney Jane has a new EP out and the songs are major feel-good and bad at the same time jams because although the beats and melodies are high, she explores some deep angst. Her music reflects a generation. The generation of needing to dance and cry at the same time. The generation of laughing when you’re talking about something serious. Jane’s ability to combine her love for up-tempo future bass music and her inner journey and heartbreak comes through in her music and makes us wonder.
The Canadian-born, LA-based singer-songwriter’s EP Somewhere Else consist of six songs. The opening title track “Somewhere Else” takes us out of this world and on the road with her — on the road and in a convertible with friends, scarves blowing in the wind, wearing huge sunglasses, and hanging onto coolers for the beach party they’re about to go to. Jane’s music has a tendency to bring you to a specific setting and feeling. “On Paper” brings you to an LA rooftop. In the video, she’s looking out into the city and asking it for a solution. How do I help the things I don’t feel? Everyone looks better on paper.
Jane’s slick, effortlessly cool voice paired with synthy high-energy beats come together to showcase her unique brand. Her image matches her sound, she is an explosion of color and vibes. We got to talk to Delaney Jane about moving to America, what she’s been up to during quarantine, and writing her blazing EP Somewhere Else.
How has the transition been from Canada to America? Are you liking LA?
With all things considered, I’d say it’s gone pretty smoothly. Hands down the hardest part is being so far away from my family, and with COVID back in full force for the second wave, I don’t foresee me being able to go back anytime soon. LA stole my heart a long time ago and it’s been pulling me back ever since. I love it here and it’s honestly the only place I’ve ever truly felt at home and at peace, alone with myself.
What was it like writing your EP Somewhere Else? Do you have a favorite song? Favorite line? A song that you felt wrote itself?
Surprisingly enough, the majority of the EP was already written before 2020 hit. I knew I wanted to venture into new territory sonically so everything we wrote had this ’80s synth wave feel to it. I wanted to give people something upbeat and full of life, all while still telling my stories in a raw and emotional way. Usually I can’t pick favorites, but when I read the question, my mind immediately went to these two, so, I’m guessing they’re subconsciously my favorites. “On Paper” and “Just as Much.”
“On Paper” pretty much wrote itself. I was in a session in LA with another good friend/fellow writer and I sat down at the piano, played some chords, and sang the first two lines. From there it just poured out. We probably wrote the whole song in 30 minutes, which is always a good sign because it means it wasn’t forced or contrived. That’s just what happens when you’re going through some emotional turmoil; you have all the ammo you need at your fingertips and at the edge of your lips.
What got you into music? Was there a specific moment that sparked it?
I’ve been writing poetry ever since I was a little girl — when I first learned how to rhyme — but it wasn’t until I was 14 when I snuck into my brother’s room to play his electric guitar that a new door opened. Well, quite literally, a door opened when my mom walked in and asked if I wanted guitar lessons. I was so excited, but little did I know that it would be the beginning of everything for me. My mom bought me my first acoustic guitar and, finally, I was able to put my poetry to music. I just haven’t stopped ever since. I guess that’s what happens when you find your passion in life. No matter what else you try to do with yourself, your time, your energy. You always come back to the one thing that sets your heart and soul on fire.
What do you do when you’re not making music?
My boyfriend. *Laughs* But really… I love to work out. Cook new (or old fave) dishes. Try to eat clean. Read. Go for hikes. FaceTime my Mom just so we can pretend we’re eating dinner together. Snowboard (when it’s the season). Listen to Jessie Reyez and wonder how her voice is so insane. Organize and reorganize my room. Listen to self-help/self-growth podcasts. Watch shows like The Vampire Diaries for the third time. Eat ice cream, especially when it’s that time of the month.
And sometimes if it’s a Friday night and I’ve gotten into the wine, I like to throw an at-home bass music dance party, typically for one (or two if my boyfriend is around). I’m a total basshead.
What do you listen to when you need to pump yourself up? What do you listen to when you want to cry?
Well that’s ironic. As mentioned above, I love bass music, AKA dubstep, drum and bass, future bass…Pretty much anything gritty and grimey and full of dirty robot growls. I think it’s because I grew up going to punk rock/metal shows, which, in my opinion, was what dubstep initially evolved from. Anyways, it all makes sense in my head! When I want to cry I put on the Spotify Playlist I made called, “Sometimes I wanna cry so just let me cry.” I wish I was joking, but I’m not. The most sad/emo/depressing songs of all time live there. For example, these ones get me every time: “Good For You” by Jeremy Zucker and Chelsea Cutler, “Cellophane” by FKA Twigs, “Farewell” by Rosie Thomas. Another song that gets me oddly and terribly emotional is “Good Mother” by Jann Arden, probably just because it makes me think of my mom and imagine life without her, which would be absolutely unfathomable.
Have you been taking advantage of your time during quarantine?
I’ve certainly been taking advantage of my time in the way that I had a lot of fun and relaxation and self-growth this past year, but all of that was peppered with instability, heartache, and a ton of question marks floating around my head. I know a lot of writers/producers spent 2020 hustling and creating 24/7 — kudos to them — but for me, I needed to take a breather. I don’t even think I realized how badly I needed it, but I did. I was going through the biggest changes and transitions of my life thus far, and in hindsight I can now look back and see that “quarantine” was more like a gift to me, on a purely personal level. To feel all the feelings I had been suppressing for so long. To go through the waves of heartbreak and love let go of. To accept and embrace the changes. To fully understand that doors closing means new doors opening. I had a perfect balance of writing/creativity as well as pain/fun/romance/self-discovery.
What are you looking forward to?
I’m really looking forward to gaining back some normalcy in life. Seeing my family without rules and restrictions. Going to restaurants and enjoying the energy and experience of eating out. Clubs, festivals, and afterparty house parties. Touring, playing shows, meeting fans. I miss being able to hug people when I meet them for the first time. I miss the general friendly demeanors of strangers saying “hi” on the street as they pass by. We have lost so much of our external lives that it really forces you to look at the world through a new set of eyes. It truly makes you appreciate all the things we once so easily took for granted.
Perhaps I was supposed to answer this question from a music-related standpoint, but this is just my truth. Of course, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t over-the-moon-excited about this next body of music I’m currently working on. The coming album might be my favorite art I’ve ever created. I’ve found a sound that I’m super passionate about, one of which my storytelling and inspiration thrives in. I just know in my core that old fans and new fans alike will be pumped for what’s coming.