It’s been an emotional time lately and when you’re an emotional person, you can’t just sit idly by and let it pass through. On his latest EP In Light Of, Toronto’s Jon Stancer has a lot to reflect on from recent memory and he’d like to share those thoughts with you. Featuring six songs and due out officially tomorrow, In Light Of covers a lot of emotional territories, musing on life in difficult, and often confusing times. Demonstrating a fearlessness that is typical of all great artists, Stancer considers heavy topics like mental illness, marital problems, disillusionment, the impact of climate change, and even the confusion that stemmed from the events of the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Great artists are often great observers, and that’s what Stancer shows himself to be on In Light Of, tapping into a lot of relatable ideas on what the world has recently endured. One of his primary goals in writing this EP was to make a set of songs that touched people in a specific, and personal way. Frustration has been brimming to the surface for some time now, and it’s something Stancer has felt himself. Music is always the best outlet for discontent, and Stancer has turned his fears and unease into a great work of art that can’t help but resonate with you.

Joining us today is Jon Stancer himself who has contributed a very special guest blog. In it, he touches on many of his motivations while writing In Light Of, and he details how these songs took shape during a particularly tumultuous time for not only himself, but the world at large.

Born From Darkness: In Light Of:

“Like many writers, I am prone to draw from my own personal experiences and perspectives. I’m not so much a fictional songwriter; I don’t find myself inventing stories or conjuring up characters, although I admire songwriters who do. Creating characters and narratives seems much more difficult. My personal source, my inspiration for so much of what I write about is somehow what I experience, my feelings, my vantage points.

In the fall of 2019, I began writing songs for what I expected would become a new album, which I might potentially put out sometime in the new year. The world was in a fairly wretched state, we’d had Trump for three-plus years, but it was still pre-pandemic times. As dire as things could sometimes feel, they weren’t nearly as horrible as they were about to become. And so I went about making my little notes, jotting down lyric ideas and concepts, etc…

Jon Stancer in 2021 by Alison Robb

It was around this time when Donald Trump trolled Greta Thunberg on Twitter. I absolutely loathe this guy. I mean, what a completely maniacal, juvenile, witless… His countless failings as a leader and as a human being had been on full display every single day for what seemed like forever. The tweet at Thunberg didn’t just annoy me though. It worried me. I thought, this is the guy in charge. We know he doesn’t believe in science or climate change and has no real knowledge of anything and ignores or shits on everyone who does… It suddenly all felt very ominous to me.

I began thinking that if he remains in power, which he was desperately trying to do, he could end up getting us all killed. And so I wrote the song, ‘Chase the Moon,’ which is essentially about running for our lives from the impending apocalypse. It was the precursor to, and catalyst for the songs that I would write for In Light Of.

When the pandemic hit at the beginning of 2020, I was as shellshocked as anyone. And as the situation worsened and the world pretty much stopped, I found myself at times, struggling to get through the day. I was becoming, let’s say, emotionally burdened. It just all felt really, really dreadful for a time. I persisted with my writing and my process though and what came out of it, I think, is a composite of reflections; a sort of ‘highlight reel,’ from a very low period.”

The songs on In Light Of were born out of troubled times that became even more troubled, for the world, for some of my people, for myself. As a songwriter, I felt compelled to document what I was feeling, thinking, seeing, fearing. And writing and working on the record truly helped me to navigate my way through much of the fog of the last few years.

Perhaps at some point, I’ll challenge myself by making an album consisting only of songs with entirely fictional narratives. Maybe there will be one about a heartless, evil villain who rises to power and tries to wreck the world and… Oh. Never mind.”

Artwork for the album ‘In Light Of’ by Jon Stancer