Ian Wayne, Risking Illness Review
Ian Wayne is a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter that is releasing his second album, Risking Illness. On his new album, Wayne is channeling the tragedies in his life into his music. Wayne’s grief comes from an unbelievable loss after his three-year-old nephew’s death from leukemia in 2017. While on tour, he learned about his nephew’s Illness, and within two weeks, his nephew had perished. Wayne describes the album, “I believe that these songs should be untied from my purpose in writing them. I think the pain we’re trying to escape boomerangs back no matter how hard we throw it. I think love can make us blind to our loneliness. Other times, in our loneliness, we miss one another by inches. I believe this will be true for all of us, in some respect, at least once. There is a stark difference, I think, between the loss of a person’s life and the grief that accompanies it. Life ends. There is the moment when they are gone — that tangible thing. Grief, though, has no such threshold. It is mysterious, tidal, elusive in its absence and presence. I believe that, in this way, grief is like love: we grasp for signs of it. The pressing need to shield ourselves and our loved ones from harm washes up downstream from a shattering loss. In the fog of my own grief, it occurred to me that simply being alive makes us vulnerable to death. Harm may find us anywhere. I came to feel brave, then, for choosing to live despite the risk of Illness. And now, I believe that these songs should be untied from my purpose in writing them.
Risking Illness is six reflective, sensitive, and gentle tracks that travel through the aftermath of a loss. Recorded with Dan Knishkowy, Andrew Stocker, Keith J. Nelson, and Ian Wayne and engineered and mixed by Keith J. Nelson with Mastering by Josh Bonati. “Coyote” is centered around a quiet guitar part and Wayne’s introspective vocal style. The string noise from the fret-hand is a little too loud for my taste. The bass also overpowers the guitar. “Gimme Something” has a steady drum pattern, guitar part, and added vocal backgrounds. Wayne sounds best in this setting, with the added vocal backgrounds and harmonies, which thickens his sound. The songwriting is strong on this selection too. The mix is still a little unbalanced for my taste. “Baby” is an emotional ballad that features some of Wayne’s best lyric writing of the date. The drums sound a little thin, especially the snare. Overall, Risking Illness is a triumph in the process of overcoming a loss and coping with a grief that never really goes away, but music is a beautiful healer and one that we all need right now. That’s the short of it!
Connect with Ian Wayne: Website |
Now Is Was
Was/ Just Was
Release Date: July 8, 2020