Jane Inc. discusses the influences behind her great new album ‘Faster Than I Can Take’
Caryn Bezic, the Toronto-based musician who has played live in U.S. Girls, Ice Cream and more, released her solo debut as Jane Inc. back in 2021; it's a terrific and underheard album that pulls from '80s and '90s dance music while displaying a fondness for proggy analog keyboards. Faster Than I Can Take finds her expanding her range, and includes forays into Feist-y folk pop ("An Ordinary Thing"), breezy tropicalia ("Picture Of The Future") and '70s glam ("Pummelled Into Sand"). The bangers with the killer basslines and thick synths are still high points, though. "Human Being" could've been a 1984 Prince production, and "2120" makes great use of vintage drum machines (and cowbell / A-gogo). Bezic's powerful pipes are the real star of the show, and tie Faster Than I Can Take's many strands together. You can listen to the whole album below.
We asked Caryn to tell us about some of the influences behind Faster Than I Can Take, and her list includes a couple Swedish pop greats, Lou Reed, Aretha Franklin, Madonna and more. Check out her list and commentary for each pick below.
JANE INC - 10 INFLUENCES BEHIND 'FASTER THAN I CAN TAKE'
ABBA - “If It Wasn't For The Nights”
Early on in the writing process I wanted to cover this song because it felt really potent in the context of the pandemic. It's about longing and loneliness, and putting on a brave face and continuing on with your business despite it all, until the quiet moments when the weight of what you feel hits you. I think we can all relate! It didn't make it on the album so it'll have to just be a live thing for now, but learning the chords was a jumping off point to other songs I wrote, and I think the spirit of it flows through the album as a whole.
Denali & Kahmora's Lipsync to 100% Pure Love
Sometimes reality TV is inspiring! Denali's performance is the reason I became obsessed with this song, and the reason I put cowbell on “2120”. Now you know!
Michael Jackson - “Don't Stop Til You Get Enough”
When we were mixing Faster, everything was gelling except “2120” and we couldn't put our finger on why. Steve noticed that the instrumentation was kind of similar to “Don't Stop Til You Get Enough”, so I added some simple, rhythmic guitar lines that draw from the ones on "Don't Stop." They're low in the mix but they really pulled the groove together.
The Human League - “Don't You Want Me (Instrumental)”
When I was writing “Dancing With You” I was thinking about this sound and those beefy, brassy synths. They're so fat and up front... A very specific kind of perfection.
Robyn – "Baby Forgive Me"
She is the GOAT of the emotional dance song, which is something I think I'm perpetually trying to write. This album is perfect, and there's definitely a lot of subtle production choices that inspired some of what I did on Faster. “Baby Forgive Me” still gives me chills, and I love that weird down-tuned background voice.
Jennifer Castle – "Monarch Season"
If you're not listening to Jennifer Castle yet, this is an exciting time for you, because there's a bunch of records waiting for you that will blow your mind! Monarch Season came out in the fall of 2020 and it felt like a salve to me. She is such a heavy lyricist, and this song is no exception. This line has moved me to tears: “I wish the origami king would come and find me/and fold my page/into something strange/and set it on the wind.” Goddamn!
Aretha Franklin - “Day Dreaming”
I wanted to channel the warmth/haziness/devastating beauty of this song in “Picture of the Future”. I think I captured about 1% of its glory.
Madonna - “Deeper and Deeper”
I became really obsessed with Madonna around the start of the pandemic, and especially Erotica-era Madonna, and “Justify My Love”, and anything '90s and house-y with a breakbeat (I wrote like three songs with a breakbeat and none of them made it on the album... maybe the next one?!). You can hear house-ish piano in a few tracks on the album, and some of her attitude on songs like "Human Being." I was also really into how dry her vocals are on a lot of her hits in the late '90s and early '00s. It gives a simultaneously ballsy and vulnerable edge to everything.
Corona - “Rhythm Of The Night” (from the final scene of Beau Travail)
I was watching a lot of films in the early pandemic and Beau Travail broke my brain. Spoiler alert, but even if you watch this it won't ruin the movie for you. Claire Denis uses music in a really wonderful way, and after seeing this I listened to this song on repeat for weeks. So heavy! I'm not sure how this influenced Faster other than it deepened my interest in movement and dance, and the relationship between music and moving image.
Lou Reed – “Andy's Chest”
In my original demo of “Pummelled Into Sand” I was trying to mimic the drums in “Andy's Chest.” I love the beat, I love the reverb on them. The song morphed into something different, but I always have Lou Reed in mind when I'm trying to writing a straight up guitar song.