Tag: Junaco

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 AmoBig Thief, Rodrigo AmaranteSam 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.” 

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. Much like the term that inspired their name, the duo have developed and honed a deliberate creative approach, decided to eschew the commonly-held attempts to placate the blogosphere’s short attention span with constant releases of varying quality.

Over the past few months, the duo have been busy releasing material including two singles, which I’ve written about:

  • 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.

The Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays’ latest single “Weight Of The World” is a slow-burning bit of jangling dream pop that to my ears brings Beach House to mind, as Jaffer’s achingly soulful vocals are paired with an arrangement that features lush and swirling layers of shimmering and jangling guitars drenched with reverb, atmospheric synths, a chugging rhythm section and a soaring hook. And much like the rest of their gorgeous and heartfelt work, “Weight Of The World” dives headfirst into the experience of slowing down to look around and dig what’s around you.

“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,” the JOVM mainstays explain. “The writing style of ‘Weight of the World’ was inspired a lot by Mike Viola‘s record The American Egypt. His songs are so visual and visceral, he really puts you there with him. It feels like all your senses are activated when listening. When writing this song, we felt like we had a strong message to convey — being overwhelmed with the constant change and forward motion & evolution towards what feels like being less human. We were heavily inspired by this podcast, The Time Sensitive podcast episode with Jesse Kamm, where she talks about the quality of life and level of happiness when communities are full of creation & purpose, something we may have lost when big corporations began to seep into our everyday lives. 

“It was a lot of fun to work on this song with producer James McAlister and our great friend and collaborator Tejas Leier Heyden. It was actually written as a somber piano ballad and we had no idea what we wanted it to be when we went into the studio, so it was a lot of fun experimenting with the possibilities.” 

The new track is a part of a much bigger project, a 360 degree music and art project coming together as a forthcoming EP.

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. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you may recall that the band can trace its origins back to the duo having a mutual desire to make music for music’s sake and to write honest songs that meant something for them — and for listeners, as well. Interestingly enough, much like the term that inspired their name, the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays have developed a rather deliberate creative approach, deciding to eschew the commonly-held attempts to placate the blogosphere’s short attention span with constant releases of varying quality.

2019’s Omar Yakar-produced EP Awry last year, an effort that featured the lovelorn “Willow,” and the 70s AM Rock meets Maazy Star-like “In Between.” Last year, the duo released a reworking of “In Between,” “In Between (Reprise) ” which was an even more ethereal and softer take on the original, while evoking the confusing sensations of change, uncertainty and progress. The duo’s latest single is their first single of 2021, “Blue Room,” continues a run of gorgeous hook driven indie rock, centered around shimmering guitars and Jaffer’s ethereal vocals. But unlike their previously released material, “Blue Room” is simultaneously a contented sigh and a sigh of frustration, evoked by the fact that home can be a place of safety, security and love, as much as it can be a place of stifling boredom.

“We were coming off a high of recording, playing, working, performing, running, running – running like the rest of the world,” the JOVM mainstays explain. “We knew we wanted our next project to be upbeat and fun and we didn’t yet sink into the reality of the shitiness quickly approaching. We were sitting on this large gray couch, overlooking the hills, beginning to write this song. The cool tones from the gloominess brought the blue into the room. Throughout all of this, a reflection – don’t forget the ground below your feet. A similar, universal feeling everyone was beginning to realize – that there are so many important things we miss when we are running. So many simple things. I think this whole record reflects on that; focusing on the beauty in the simplicity of life.”

Los Angeles-based duo Junaco — Shahanna Jaffer and Joey LaRosa — derive their name for a term that generally means rolling with the pace of life and enjoying the present; living and working with intention, and not just running on autopilot. The act can trace their origins to the duo having a mutual desire to make music for music’s sake, and to write honest songs that meant something for them — and that listeners may be able to have mean something to them, as well. Much like the term that inspired their name, the duo have developed a deliberate creative approach, eschewing the commonly-held attempts to placate the short attention spans of the blogosphere.

The Los Angeles-duo released their Omar Yakar-produced EP Awry last year, an effort that featured the lovelorn “Willow,” which to my ears brought Caveman, Eliza Shaddad and even Fleetwood Mac to mind — and “In Between,” which seemed equally indebted to 70s AM rock and Mazzy Star. Interestingly, Junaco’s latest single “In Between (Reprise)” is a reworking of the successful “In Between.” Collaborating with James McAllister, the reworked song is an ethereal and softer take on the song, evoking the confusing feelings of change, uncertainty and progress with a plaintive slow-burn.

“’In Between’ was one of the first songs we ever wrote, at a time when we both felt a lack of control in our own lives – unsure of how to get to where we wanted to be,” the duo explain in press notes. “Leaving town and writing felt like a step towards something – even though we didn’t know what that was. We didn’t intend to write stories, we just wanted to describe a feeling.” And with the reworked version the song, the band feels the song has come full circle from its original intent, now more than ever.

“There’s something about accepting the unknown that’s very comforting, almost feeling like a surrender. Each time we’ve played the song live, I’ve always felt a relief from just saying ‘i don’t know.’ Now, we’re experiencing a collective feeling of uncertainty – no matter who you are and what you believe. The reprise is a reminder.” 

The term ‘Junaco’ means rolling with the pace of life and enjoying the present; living and working with intention, not just running, which is what they seem to be doing with “In Between (Reprise).” With lyrics “I know this is the way I have to go, but I don’t know, I’ll be back and I will be what I show, when I go home,” Junaco expresses the conflicting feelings of change and progress through soft and lush vocal

With James McAlister as a collaborator, the expression of emotions in the song began to adapt and change: “Working with James McAlister in revisiting the song has given it a new color; he solidified our intention of creating a mood with our music.”

 

Comprised of Shahanna Jaffer and Joey LaRosa, the Los Angeles-based duo Junaco can trace their origins to a mutual desire to make music for music’s sake — and to write honest songs that meant something true for themselves, that someone else may be able to make something true for them, as well. Instead of rushing through songs, the duo have a rather deliberate creative approach hat has resulted in a sound that’s moody yet anthemic.

The duo’s forthcoming Omar Yakar-produced EP is slated for release sometime later this year, and the EP’s first single — and the band’s debut single, as well, is the stunning and and cinematic “Willow.” Centered around layers of shimmering and jangling guitar chords, Jaffer gorgeous and lilting vocals, jazz-like drumming and an expansive song structure that features a sweeping, widescreen coda, the song will likely bring comparisons to Caveman, Eliza Shaddad and even Fleetwood Mac — all while possessing a swooning and lovelorn quality.