Jana Hunter, the Houston based singer/songwriter on Devendra Banhart and Andy Cabic’s Gnomonsong label, graced the stage of Brooklyn’s Luna Lounge late last week to a rather large audience. I had never been to Luna Lounge before and its hugeness was immediately surprising and intimidating. I had also never seen Jana before but I had been listening to Blank Unstaring Heirs Of Doom since it’s release in 2005 and had just started to skim the surface of her latest release, There’s No Home. Jana’s songs are sparse, eerie, and beautifully melodic. It’s hard not to link her to the sound of the Devendras and the Vetivers of the world, but it is an easy way to describe her music. Put it this way, Jana does it better. Blank Unstaring Heirs of Doom and There’s No Home are both listens that take a few times to “get,” which is always something that shows the longevity of any album. Once you get it, you get it.
Jana played acoustic guitar and was accompanied by her brother, John, on electric. John sang harmony on a few songs and his bass delivery is an interesting addition to Jana’s subtle singing voice. His pipes appear on her new record on songs like “Regardless.” John’s vocals were much more distinct when hearing the song live, and it brought every lo-fi nuance on both of her albums to a heightened life. “Babies,” my favorite track on There’s No Home was perfect live, and it was great to hear every string and hand movement on her guitar. Jana played songs from both of her albums and even a tune from a side project of hers called Jracula. (Jracula)
Although I loved finally seeing her play, I can’t be too keen on the venue, as it seemed as though The Luna Lounge was a tad too big for such an intimate show with a quiet performer. Go grab her discs and hope that when she comes to your town that she’ll play a smaller venue.