Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays Junaco — Shahanna Jaffer and Joey LaRosa — derive their name for a term that they say generally means rolling with the pace of life and enjoying the present; living and working with intention, and not just running on autopilot. Fittingly, much like the term that inspired their band’s name, Jaffer and LaRosa have developed and honed a deliberate creative approach that actively eschews the music industry’s commonly-held attempts to placate the blogosphere’s short attention span with constant releases of varying quality.
Over the past year though, the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays have released a batch of material including:
- “In Between (Reprise) ” an even more ethereal and softer take on their Omar Yakar-produced Awry EP single “In Between” that retained the confusing sensations of uncertainty and progress.
- “Blue Room” a gorgeous bit of hook driven indie rock that’s both a sigh of contentedness and frustration that thematically touches upon a familiar concept to all of us — that home can be a place of safety, security, peace and love, as well as a place full of stifling boredom and uncertainty.
- “Weight Of The World,” a slow-burning, Beach House-like track centered around Jaffer’s achingly soulful vocals paired with a gorgeous arrangement of lush and swirling layers of shimmering and jangling guitars drenched in reverb, atmospheric synths, a chugging rhythm section and a soaring hook. But at its core, the song dives headfirst into the experience of slowing down to look around and truly dig what’s around you.
The duo’s highly-anticipated Blue Room EP which is slated for a July 9, 2021 release through Side Hustle Records will be reportedly be a 360º music and art project inspired by “When we were writing the new tunes, we were listening to a lot of Amo Amo, Big Thief, Rodrigo Amarante, Sam Evian, Broncho & Hannah Cohen,”and others.
Building upon the pre-release buzz, the EP’s latest single “Paradise” continues a run of jangling and hook-driven dream pop featuring Jaffer’s gorgeous vocals. But this time also featuring muscular yet blown out drumming, twinkling keys, and reverb drenched feedback and effects. Interestingly, “Paradise” may arguably be the most person song that the duo have released to date: “The mind is a powerful tool – we have the ability to shift our perspective at any given moment with practice and control,” Junaco’s Shahanna Jaffer explains. “A strong sentiment I learned from my parents’ immigrant experience – that paradise is in your mind if you allow it. We have the habit of placing responsibility on a far away action: ‘when I move there, my life will be better’ but if we instead tried to look inward and felt every feeling genuinely, would we have an easier time adapting?” Joey LaRosa adds, “And while we all attempt to live in the present, it’s still important to take the past and future into account. You are who you are based on the past. And you are who you are based on what you want and what you envision your future to be.”