Jane's Party

Toronto indie rockers Jane’s Party have recently released their latest single, “Ships On An Ocean”, a moody and infectious track with a poignant take on breakups. We caught up with Jane’s Party once again, this time to chat about the new music, how the band chooses which songs become releases, and each member’s superpower.

From The Strait: Tell us about the new single, “Ships on an Ocean”

Jane’s Party: Ships On An Ocean was inspired by one of our best friends’ breakups with a long-time girlfriend. I’d gotten home after meeting him for coffee and pretty much wrote the lyrics in one sitting. I didn’t plan to write it, but the imagery and mood of his experience I think seeped into my subconscious. Writing a song about a breakup isn’t exactly fresh ground to write on, which is why it often takes a good concept, an interesting perspective, or some good lines to get me excited about it.

Ships On An Ocean is a reference to the “ships in the night” metaphor, originally from a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The idea we can come so close to one another for a brief period of time, and then sail off into the night I thought really captured a lethargic and hopeless feeling that the main character in the song takes on. The metaphor helped me get inside that perspective and to write from that place.

After that, describing that missed feeling throughout the verses came naturally and offered an opportunity to interpret it in through my own lens. Things like the vintage lightbulb in a swanky downtown bar, the expensive beer beginning to taste like a cheap one, and the drawn-out feeling of a movie character taking forever to die were all things I had on my mind at the time that helped me embody the song. How I managed to fit them into the structure of a song? That part’s still a mystery to me.

FTS: What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Jane’s Party: Writing songs and getting to perform them for listening audiences continues to be a highlight for me. Getting to tour with Tom Odell, and play our music for his fans and get to experience their positive reactions was already unbelievable after the first show. Getting to do it night after night for weeks, and then again a couple of years later was truly unbelievable.

FTS: What’s your favourite – and least favourite – thing about being a musician?

Jane’s Party: My most favourite thing is the beautiful community built by musicians. Hanging out, listening to one another, sharing ideas, and pushing each other to be creative is a constant inspiration for me that I wish everyone in the world got to experience. My least favourite is some of the non-music related baggage that comes with this strange occupation. The music business is a weird business, and can often be void of the wonderful things I mentioned above.

FTS: What do you do when you have a lot of songs written – how do you choose which ones make the cut to be released?

Jane’s Party: We have 3 songwriters in the band, which means we end up with quite a lot of material. It all goes into a Dropbox folder to steep until we’re ready to think about a new project. Typically a song will emerge as one that everyone is excited about. I also think there’s an unspoken rule that if you’re not excited about a song, it’s your responsibility to suggest, or go ahead and experiment with, ways to improve the song and help get it to the finish line. By the end of the process, everyone’s had a chance to contribute and see themselves in all the songs. I think we’re all equally proud of our songs, no matter who initially wrote them, and by the time we’ve played them a few times live, we all develop a communal ownership over them.

FTS: If each member of Jane’s Party were a superhero, what would their names and superpowers be?

Jane’s Party: I think we established this some years back when we were spending innumerable hours in the tour van. I remember Jeff was Eagle Eye because he could spot the traffic signs from very far away. Tom was Maps or GPS because he was pretty good at remembering his way around new towns and cities we’d end up in, but these days he’s BeanHound666 because he can crush a cup of coffee like nobody else. Zach was Spitz because he loved eating sunflower seeds in the van, but these days he’s Redline because you don’t wanna know what will happen if you cross the line with him. Can’t remember what D goes by.


Check out “Ships On An Ocean”, the latest single from Jane’s Party.

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