Jana Hunter

Jana Hunter haunts me in my dreams. Her music, though sparse in instrumentation and arrangement, bears a weight that clings to me like the stifling air of a Houston summer, albeit in a much more pleasant fashion. Fortunately for you musical claustrophobes out there, Hunter has been lightening things up a bit of late. Her music still has a striking sonic and emotional impact, but with 2007's There's No Home, she's found a style that almost approaches levity. Largely eschewing the dark, distorted sonic landscapes of her previous full-length, 2005's Blank Unstaring Heirs of Doom, in favor of crisp, bright guitars and near-pop arrangements, Hunter's new side is extremely alluring. It's as if she got something out of her system the first time around and feels like playing. Mind you, Hunter still pledges allegiance to the freak-folk set, so this is not exactly skippity-doo-da-type playing. It's more like the mental games of a strange but intelligent child escaping the heat of the day by retreating into the shadows underneath the porch. Fortunately for us, Hunter has been coaxed out for one more show before her move to The Old Line State.
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Nicholas Hall