Parisian Captures the Human in the Machine with Those Emotions Ran High
To casual observers, electronic music may be sterile noise created to excite and energize people. That may be major simplification, to be sure. But with so many artists in the genre creating songs aimed at getting people dancing, it's almost jarring to hear electronic music encased with personal experience.
Yet it's clear from a listen of Those Emotions Ran High that St. Louis native Parisian isn't trying to get people moving and grooving. The EP - which can be obtained for free by going Parisian's Tumblr or Facebook page - features songs such as "Heavy Petting," a conspicuously sensual track with foot-slapping drumbeats and atmospheric synthesizers. Even though the song was concocted from personal experience, it billows out a sound that connects to anybody who ever became infatuated with someone else.
Parisian - whose real name is Ian Jones - was formerly a part of Safety Words, a duo that dissolved at the end of last year. Getting out on his own allowed Jones to go beyond a regiment of hip-hop and delve into more experimental realms.
Jones took some time to talk with RFT Music by phone about his new-found tenure as a solo artist and the work that went into getting Those Emotions Ran High out. Questions and answers have been edited for clarity and length.
Jason Rosenbaum: You've essentially been a solo artist for about six months now. What's the experience been like? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of working on your own?
Ian Jones: I'd say the solo thing is going pretty well so far. I've definitely been having fun with it. [I basically don't] have anybody to bounce ideas off of. So I basically sit down, make something, listen to it a few times and see if I can get into it.
I'm known for kind of keeping weird hours. I pretty much stay up all night and work on music if I can. So now when I'm working by myself, I can work whenever I want.
What was the process you went through to get Those Emotions Ran High out?
I've got a couple of EPs that I finished recently at the end of last year. I don't know, this one - it meant a fair amount to me partially because of the time period that I made it in and what it's about. And so, I was like 'I really want to be heard,' so I just put it out there for free on my Tumblr and my Facebook page.
What are some of themes and musical elements that you wanted to put across in the EP?
I guess more than anything, basically a lot of the record is kind of about a breakup and drama in my life. At the time that I was working on it, which was last year, I was just kind of going through some stuff. And I was like 'man, I think I need to fixate on something ... so basically I don't go crazy.'
I just kind of sat down and focused on that. I guess a lot of it was made with the idea of isolation. I think that's one of the bigger themes there for me.
When you put out an album or an EP, you aren't going to purposely release songs you feel are substandard. But are there any tracks in particular you think really stand out on Those Emotions Ran High?
I'd say "Heavy Petting" was the one that ended up being some kind of single. It's the song that this website -- XLR8R - picked up on. I didn't think I had it in me to produce something that kind of had a crossover appeal. So I'm pretty proud of that one.
And "Parasite" is actually my favorite song on the album. I don't know if it's the one that'll be the best received. But I don't know, it's one of the few times where I spent making music where I sat down and the emotion I tried to attach to it, I guess I was successful.