In today’s culture, artists making the effort to make an epic, start-to-finish record are roughly as common as Drake investing his cash wisely or hinting that a life full of supermodels, fame and dollars isn’t terrible.
It’s easy to talk about the ADD generation and throw around terms like “post-internet” to reward unfinished thoughts and fragmented melodies, but ultimately, we are sadly floating further and further away from the grander scope.
Derek Janzen, a bedroom composer, has spent years fine tuning and evolving his sound. His output in the past was some what limited by his gear, but his vision scanned to the horizon. Within the confines of those four walls he constructed electro-fused anthems that exploded through ceilings and took flight.
While more ambitious, Mt. St. Helen’s is a less defined entity than previous efforts from Janzen and loosening his grip on the reigns certainly helped the end results. Working with a full band, Janzen was able to introduce new sounds to the more electronic focused creations.
This LP was a two year endeavor (making the creative process roughly 729.95 days longer than any kreayshawn song took to write) and the extra time resulted in enjoyable proggy builds and a smoother finish.
Janzen still controls pace with intricate patterns and the programmed heartbeat thumps with adrenaline, but it’s the more subtle, restrained moments that sound the best. The soothing horns that sneak into the tambourine and kick drum heavy “There is a Place” and the remarkably polished eight-minute closer (“My Heart Is Not At Peace Anymore”) showcase a maturation and patience that weren’t present in earlier works.
Janzen might be moving in the opposite direction of the popular sound, but those kinds of risks are the ones that result in something great.