Ian Randall Thornton, a Norfolk, VA-based multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and composer has announced details of his sophomore album Wide Open, coming out in February 2020 through AntiFragile Music.
Today’s announcement also comes with the unveiling of lead single “North & South” – take a listen below…
Known for his honest, poetic lyrics, conceptual themes, and production, Thornton has forged his own path while honing in an unparalleled sound. With a unique voice and writing style that embodies the essence of a storyteller with the depth and attention to detail of a true artist, he released his debut EP, End Where You Begin, in 2014, a collection of songs that focused on the beauty and ache of constantly shifting relationships, inviting the listener into a contemplative reflection on the value, difficulty, and cost of love.
Thornton’s debut full-length album, Lineage, carried the same essence of the EP, imbued with the raw simplicity of storytelling, along with the addition of new musical elements, instrumental complexity, and heightened production. It’s a gorgeous album about family and heritage, and the tension between honouring where and who you came from, while also sifting through the faults and weaknesses you have inherited. He has a masterful skill of posing simple questions within his music that draws you into the cinematic essence of his work. His weighty lyrical content juxtaposed with effortless musicality draws the listener in from the start, and never lets up.
Wide Open is a slight departure from Thornton’s previous musical stylings, finding his sound progressing and maturing into his best work yet, while still tipping the hat to his folk Americana roots. These songs sound nostalgic and familiar in some ways, yet feel like the exploration of a completely new genre altogether. Each track is unique and distinctive while carrying a similar tone and continuity, indicative of Thornton’s typical approach to writing cohesive albums. Lush orchestration, intricate layered guitars, and hushed vocals create a beautifully calming experience that leaves you feeling content and comforted. Each song is a deep breath of fresh air that seems to release the tension in your chest, and warm your heart with a knowing sense that everything is going to be alright.