JUNACO Uses Music as a Means of Catharsis

Expression, escapism, commerce; there is a litany of reasons that bring people together to make music. While some may seem more respectable than others, none are necessarily wrong because like anything in life, there’s a glove for every hand.

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For Shahana Jaffer and Joey LaRosa, they initially set out with the intention of nothing but creation and expression. Coming together in an unincorporated mountain town on the outskirts of coastal Northern California, the Pakistani singer / guitarist and drummer from the middle of the Midwest (Indianapolis to be precise) took on the moniker Junaco, which they describe to mean rolling with the pace of life and enjoying the present; living and working with intention, not just running.

Their product? Atmospheric audio wallpaper. As evidenced in their newest release “In Between” the duo thrives on being able to use music as a means of catharsis, both for themselves as well as others. To let the song go where it needs and in its footsteps, they find their way as well. Delicate yet determined, “In Between” is both haunting and seductive as the soundscape ebbs and flows like a bubble bending with the wind.

“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. 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.”

Therein lies the root of where their music comes from, honesty and feel, crafted with the universe leading the way. From a sonic standpoint the duo enlisted James McAlister, best known for his work with Sufjan Stevens, for their studio effort. In doing so, the song took an even bigger leap than even they initially thought possible. It didn’t change, but it did shine with a different hue.

“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.”

Mystical and soothing, the song has come full circle from its original intent. There’s a comfort in surrendering to a higher power and in this instance, “In Between” is just that. Especially in these unprecedented times, the song resonates deep within the bones.

“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.”

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