Ears Wide Open: Janelane

Janelane (Photo by Lexi McCoy)

L.A. quartet Janelane make indie- and power-pop for fans of artists like Heavenly and Camera Obscura. In a word, it’s bright. Both meanings.

The band is the solo project of L.A. native Sophie Negrini, who started writing songs at age 12 and weaned herself on classic artists of the ’60s and ’70s. Janelane’s first release actually dates to 2014, but the project took a backseat to Negrini’s role as lead guitarist for Peach Kelli Pop. Janelane went five years between releases.

But the band — Negrini along with Shelly Schimek, Brian Rodriguez and Nic Hessler — released four singles between 2020 and ’21, bookended sonically by the melancholic ballad “14 Days” and the pop-punk sprint “Celebrity Crush.”

Somewhere in between is Janelane’s new single, the sublimely breezy yet brokenhearted “Ask Me Why,” released this week. Here, Negrini finds clever lyrical ways to play out a lopsided relationship (“Don’t have the kind of grace / To leave you spellbound with a wink / Sure, I’ve got poetry / But I choke up and then I sink”).

The song is the follow-up to last summer’s single, “Goodbye to Heartache.” Both will appear on Janelane’s new EP, “Okay With Dancing Alone,” out April 15 via Astoria Tracks.

||| Stream: “Ask Me Why” and “Goodbye to Heartache”