Jana Pochop has a new album coming out, The Astronaut, due out Feb 4. The album was produced by Daniel Barrett, and mixed and mastered by Mark Halman. Barrett has worked with Ruthie Foster, Grace Pettis and more, while Mark Halman has worked with Slaid Cleaves, Ani Di Franco, Eliza Gilkyson and Carole King, among others. Looking over this list, Jana Pochop’s music discreetly fits right in.
Musicians on the album are Sean Hutchinson (Taylor Swift) on drums; Duke Levine (Aimee Mann) on guitar; Lloyd Manes (the Chicks) on pedal steel; Don Dixon (REM) on bass; Ephraim Owens (Sheryl Crow) on trumpet; BettySoo (Nobody’s Girl) on accordion; Eric Holden (Shakira) on bass; Brian Standefer (Alejandro Escovedo) on cello; and Frank LoCrasto (Fruit Bats) on keys. Can somebody say “wow”?
“Head Spin” showcases Pochop’s haunting, flinty, somehow-familiar vocal tones, with gentle, flowy guitar and shivery harmony vocals. “As Long As It Feels Right” is more of an earthy grounded number, with winding, shuffly rhythms and optimistic lyrics.
When “The Matador” came out as an early single last fall, I personally knew the rest of this album would be magic, and I was validated when the full album came through. “When I speak Spanish to you when I’m drunk, it means that I’m happy to be here….” “vowels and consonants…” and this was an ear worm for me on my 2021 list, before the album even came out (Editor’s Pick: Road Trip Earworms 2021). Wild.
“The Hard Part” is a co-write with Shawnee Kilgore, and the lyrics tap both your intellect and your heart, with that identifiably unique lofty, ambient quality a continuing thread. “Solar System” is another “classic Pochop” song folding the universe into daily life scenes.
This cd is 8 beautiful songs long. All pure, ethereal, and dreamy. Reach for it when you want something fresh to really love. Find the music and more info, here: