Tag: Sam Evian

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.

New Video: Drew Citron Releases a Cinematic Ode to “King of New York” for Gorgeous Solo Debut Single “Summertime”

Drew Citron is a singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and music venue owner who’s been a New York indie scene mainstay. She can trace the origins of her professional career to being a touring member of Frankie Rose’s backing band and with The Pains of Being Pure of Heart. Along with Class Actress’ Scott Rosenthal, she formed acclaimed act Beverly and opened Bushwick, Brooklyn-based music venue Alphaville. 

Citron’s solo debut Free Now is slated for an October 9, 2020 release through Park The Van — and the album reportedly finds Citron rediscovering herself as an artist, following the break up of her longtime relationship with her bandmate and business partner Scott Rosenthal. And as a result the album’ material is a roadmap to the evolution of a performer taking complete ownership of her craft and work in every element of the creative process with Citron engineering, producing and playing most of the instruments on an album that finds her collaborating with Rosenthal, Sam Owens (a.k.a Sam Evian), Ash’s Tim Wheeler, Danny Taylor and John Agnello. 

Free Now’s first single is the slow-burning “Summertime.” Featuring  a gorgeous and atmospheric arrangement featuring shimmering guitars, a soaring string arrangement, shuffling drumming and Citron’s achingly plaintive vocals, the track manages to sound both anachronistic and cinematic — while being centered around earnest yet ambitious songwriting. Sonically, the track reminds me a bit of Amber Arcade’s Cannonball EP– specifically “Wouldn’t Even Know” — but at its core its a sweet and much-needed hopeful song about new love with the wistful ache of knowing that too will fade. “A nostalgic song about summer feels more prescient than ever,” Citron explains. “Missing summer, loving it, living for late afternoon beach beers, god I’m missing summer already and it’s barely started. This is a sweet little song about new love in summer, not wanting it to end, wanting to hold on to that feeling.”

The recently released video for “Summertime” is a cinematically shot and deceptively mischievous homage to King of New York that has a wistfully nostalgic ache for all of the things we can’t quite have right now as a result of pandemic-related shutdowns.