Since his 2016 debut EP Drowsy, Shane Blanchard has kept fans on their toes when it comes to releasing new music with his project, Bane’s World. Blanchard’s jazzy, dream pop sound and retro aesthetic quickly earned him recognition as a bedroom pop artist.
By the looks of the comments left on his YouTube videos, Drowsy offers a form of escapism to listeners, particularly those who may consider themselves hopeless romantics. The nine-track EP wins over listeners with its enchanting, moody theme and heartfelt, melancholic lyrics. This ultimately led to it receiving a lot of praise and skyrocketing Blanchard’s fan base that includes Tyler, The Creator. Blanchard later released his first single in 2017 titled “You Say I’m In Love” that has reached nearly 27 million Spotify plays.
The 23-year-old Long Beach native has since played festivals such as Coachella, Tropicalia and Camp Flog Gnaw among countless smaller scale shows. He recalls his first tour with Inner Wave and Michael Seyer where nearly every show sold out, a surreal moment that gave Blanchard his first taste of fame.
“It was night after night of just kind of getting bombarded by fans and stuff like that,” he tells the Weekly. “It was like, ‘Whoa, these people actually are fans’ and it’s so weird. You kind of feel like you’re on top of the world, but you gotta keep your head on straight.”
Blanchard grew up in a family with everyone singing in the household and relatives pursuing music, which inevitably sparked his creative passion.
“Everybody in my family is some kind of artist,” Blanchard says. “My mom’s brother is a musician. My dad is a musician–just a lot of people who have tried to get somewhere with it, and not necessarily didn’t go anywhere, but didn’t really have an impact like I have. So, they always joke, ‘You’re the first one to finally do it.’ It’s pretty awesome. I was just raised to do it for fun, and I’ve just always had a love for music.”
Blanchard has lived in the same house all his life and can’t imagine living anywhere else. He believes had he grown up elsewhere, he would still be making music but is unsure if he would be as successful.
“The experiences that this city has given me are really awesome,” he says. “I love Long Beach. I love Southern California.”
Considering he comes from a musical family, Blanchard always keeps his parents in mind when he’s making music. He cites as influences not only guitarists Eric Gales, Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Vaughan, but also by the people he surrounds himself with on a day-to-day basis, particularly his friends. He recalls how his memories associated with making Drowsy are of his friends who’d often come over and play video games in his garage. For Blanchard, home is where the heart is.
“It makes me really sad to think about moving. I always think about if I do move out and then I drive past my house and I can’t go inside, or I can’t see where I recorded my first album, or where I used to play–where I did everything for the first time pretty much. It just makes me really sad to think about not being able to access that space.”
When Bane’s World started, Blanchard was writing songs and recording them on GarageBand by himself. Bane’s World has since moved in the direction of becoming a permanent band. The live band version’s current lineup includes Jack Bastian (keyboard/organ), Cole Brossus (bass/backing vocals), Matt Saunders (guitar) and Ellington Peet (drums/sampler).
Blanchard met the UCLA students through what he describes as their “groovy, instrumental, jammy, jazz-fusion” band known as Apollo Soul. He was a fan and attended their shows, and while he was looking for a band to help him play live, they offered to fulfill that role and to collaborate.
All members experimented with recording in a studio together, an experience that is new to Blanchard. He considers the jazz musicians to be “insanely talented,” especially when it comes to developing an accompaniment to his guitar and lyrics.
Although Blanchard has plans to drop a full-length album next year, he is taking his time perfecting the tracks and finding inspiration in taking a step back from songwriting to live in the moment. He does so by woodworking, cooking and watching TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé with his girlfriend.
Based on what he has come up with so far, he views the upcoming album as being “really moody” with loads of keys and a cleaner, more concise production. He assures that it’ll be a good experience for listeners.
“Music has just changed gradually over the past few years. I think that people are gonna see a significant change in it, and they might not like it, but it still has the elements of my songwriting and stuff that it used to,” Blanchard says.
Bane’s World perform at Viva Pomona at The Glass House, 200 W. 2nd St., Pomona, (909) 865-3802. Sun., Aug. 25, 4 p.m. $25. All ages. For more details, visit Viva Music Festival.
Yvonne Villasenor is often in a sleep deprived daze daydreaming about ’90s heartthrobs, dogs, upcoming album releases, and what she’s going to eat for dinner. When she snaps back to reality, she writes about OC’s latest music and artists.