The sophomore album from Jana Horn is a delicate exfoliation of dream and reality. Hung on the kind of gossamer glow that permeated works by Linda Perhacs, Sandy Denny, or Nick Drake, she’s crafted a record that’s supple but never slight. Horn’s voice hangs on humid air, framed and fogged by folk forms that are themselves enamored with jazz and post-rock. Permeated with themes that pierce the veil of perception, Horn hangs her delivery on a temperament that rises like steam through streetlights. Like Perhacs, she’s established a vocal temperature that acts as a signature, and its iced breath hangs over the album with a composure that shifts between comfort and existential ennui.
Beneath her the band takes what could have easily lapsed into a simple latter-day folk record and forces it to become something much more. Friends and collaborators pile into the barn-turned-studio in Upstate, NY to flesh out Horn’s arrangements. The plaintive strums of “The Dream” are wound into brambled hackles of guitar scratched with feedback. Bass slides on greased heels on “In Between.” Elsewhere the subtle shades of Chicago’s ‘90s indie set crop up on “Days Go By,” and “Love In Return,” feeling like strange kin to some of Ryley Walker’s recent works. The Window Is The Dream pushes Horn’s works free of the yoke of ease, letting their discomfort and delirium fester against arrangements that share her philosophical notions of dissonance, poking at the wounds of our consciousness.
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