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Singled Out: Jane In Space's Breaking Glass

07-30-2018
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Jane In Space

Jane In Space just released their new album "Gorerunner" and to celebrate we asked Jesse and Tom to tell us about the song "Breaking Glass". Here is the story:

Jesse: Though sonically it is the flower among the weeds, "Breaking Glass" actually helped me see the blueprint for our new album, "Gorerunner."

The basic musical elements for "Breaking Glass" came together not long after the birth of my son. At that time, I began to gravitate away from guitar to playing piano more-much easier to do while you're holding an infant. It was a chaotic time in my life, and I think I instinctively responded to that by remembering the elegant simplicity of Phillip Glass's "In the Upper Room," which I hadn't listened to in years. I can't pretend to be a Glass connoisseur, but the rhythm in those compositions has stuck with me, and I tried emulating that-without actually going back and listening to it.

Inspiration struck, and the core piano part came together both gradually and quickly-playing for minutes off and on, bit by bit, over a couple of weeks. At a certain point, it felt structurally complete, and very exciting. I couldn't wait to develop it more in my home studio.

On the first "Jane In Space" record, I avoided "real" piano-with some exceptions, it has felt like a real crutch in electronic music production, an easy way to (attempt to) bring humanity in. So I reached into my usual bag of tricks-transcribing the notes into my computer so as to play the part with lots of different sounds and digital manipulations. In that process I made some interesting drones and effects (many of which made it into the final song), but at a certain point I realized that I needed to turn my preconceptions against themselves: I heard in my head the sounds of a lost soul fighting against a surrounding swarm, in which an acoustic piano wasn't humanity coming in to a song, but instead trying to escape from it.

With that vision in mind, the palette for the rest of the album clicked into place pretty quickly, and the sound of the acoustic piano became the flickering torch for some pretty dark material-trying to light the way, but going to extinguish before you get out.


Tom: "Breaking Glass" came together pretty quickly. We released our debut album in the summer of 2016 and I felt like I'd heard those songs a few hundred times as we were gearing up to release it.

That summer, Jesse then played me this very different piano composition he'd been working on. Nothing like anything he had played me before. It was refreshing. Jesse tentatively titled it "Breaking Glass" from the start since Philip Glass was an influence and also after a late 70s era Bowie song. I liked the striking image the name conjured up so kept it and used it as a metaphor when writing the lyrics.

Even though it turned into quite a tender song there is some real drive behind the chorus; I wanted to honor that when writing the melodies and lyrics. The lyrics were inspired by the often dog-eat-dog ways of city life, which I was feeling increasingly jaded about, and how we are manipulated through the internet using data analytics which had also been on my mind. Also, the 2016 election was coming up and the sheer viciousness of that, which showed so many people's true colors. We ended up playing the song at our record release show that September so we're glad to, almost two years later, finally be able to release it and show a very different side to the band.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself right here!


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