By: Jeremy Scott
With “Stations”, Taylor Janzen reminds us of the power that a simple guitar melody and a heartfelt voice can have on conveying a message that couldn’t be spoken any other way. The track has a tangible emotional weight to it that is executed with masterful minimalism. Her story of finding closure and reconciliation after psychological abuse unfolds like an origami crane, beautiful, yet able to be crushed by too heavy a hand. Janzen’s reverent guitar playing drives the story forward, as she grasps lyrically with moving on from a place of fear to a place of self-assuredness.
When discussing the song, Jenzen said, “I wrote Stations in my room when I was 17 about the isolating and complicated feelings when one experiences psychological abuse from a loved one, regardless of the nature of their relationship. I think it was my attempt at breaking silence in a way that I previously didn’t think I could.”
Jenzen’s lucidity with understanding such a complex subject is remarkable for her age. Psychological abuse, despite so much progress that has been made thanks to the Internet in allowing victims to have a voice, is still not as recognized or discussed in our society as it should be. Jenzen encapsulates just how damaging this form of abuse is with the line, “I am sick of your invisible abuse where you bend your voice screaming away my youth.” Abuse of this nature forces you to question not only your sanity, but also your value and worth as a person. It forces you to turn inward and live life in your mind, which has the effect of taking away innocence and forcing premature maturity.
Moreover, the beauty, complexity, and intelligence of “Stations” are found in its discussion of the mixed feelings that are endemic of psychological abuse. Victims of this form of abuse know deep down that it is wrong, but abusers of this nature often convince their victim that the reason they treat them that way is out of love. It can be so hard to break away from psychological abuse for this very reason. Jenzen illustrates this experience with the line “despite what you say is unwavering dedication, I’m just a station, a station that you stop at.” Abusers will convince you that you will never find anyone that loves you more than them, even though you, in truth, you are nothing more than a temporary pit-stop in their toxic, down spiraling life.
By the last two lines, Jenzen has found strength again and has restored her individuality, which are often the first two things that are broken down by an abuser. She turns around the previous line about her abuser using her as a “station”, saying, “You’re just a station that I stop at, I’m sick of stations that I stop at.” I was deeply moved by the progression of this song and how it is so effective in portraying the journey from victim of abuse to reconciliation with one’s self.
The Canadian singer’s upcoming EP, Interpersonal, is out August 10.