Ian Wayne Announces New LP ‘Risking Illness’ out Sep. 18 on Whatever’s Clever
Hear the Wistful First Single: “Baby”
Genre: Indie, Rock, Folk, Singer-Songwriter, Alternative
RIYL: Big Thief, Lomelda, Luke Temple, Andy Shauf, Nap Eyes
Ian Wayne, the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter and guitarist from Oregon, has shared “Baby,” — the lead single from his new album Risking Illness, out September 18 on Whatever’s Clever.
Risking Illness was written in the wake of a personal tragedy. While on tour with his band on the east coast, Wayne learned his three-year-old nephew, Merlin, had been diagnosed with leukemia. Two weeks later Merlin passed away. It became nearly impossible for Wayne to imagine how the rest of life could ever fall into step around the bottomless feeling at its center. As grief became a ballast in Wayne’s life, it also became the throughline in his music.
The grief on Risking Illness also manifests itself through unrequited love and the sudden feeling of the bottom falling out of a romantic connection, as on the album’s lead single, “Baby.” The song opens with Wayne’s voice, and no other instrumentation: “Baby I will always love you,” he sings, “In between the times that I do not.” The single, like the rest of the album, was tracked live, with Wayne on guitar and vocals, Keith Nelson on keyboards, Andrew Stocker (Horse Teeth, Ben Seretan) on bass, and Dan Knishkowy (Adeline Hotel, Ben Seretan) on drums.
Of the song, Wayne says: “Baby” is about an imagined longview of life in love. I think love can make us blind to our loneliness, and at other times, in our loneliness, we miss one another by inches. I believe that love is guided by optimism, which makes the gnashing of teeth along the way even sadder. I think this will be true for all of us, in some respect, at least once. “Baby” is written from this perspective.