Jana Horn Issues Spooky, Biblical “Jordan”

Divine tragedy visualized via Jaime Zuverza clip

Three months after releasing an endearing 7-inch as American Friend, a collaboration with Deep Time drummer Adam Jones and Sarah Beames of Chronophage, local singer/guitarist Jana Horn begins unveiling her initial long-form solo project with the new single and video “Jordan.”

Jana Horn at home. (Photo by Jen Lee Rachid)

A poemlike meditation on biblical violence and ill-fated prophecy, the song follows a protagonist on a harrowing and solemn journey to the gates of a holy city, where the keeper orders the visitor to bomb their homeland of Galilee in service to God. In her hushed, multi-tracked vocals, Horn issues a plea:

But sir, I can’t... that is my family.
They are just as dark and troubled, and burdened by belief.
I can’t be cut off from the shadow that was cast by my own feet.
To thank God for his calling at the cost of Galilee

The traveler, given an alternate option of serenading her city’s destruction, instead lays down in sacrifice under the name Emmanuel, which translates to “God, with us.” Horn characterizes the writing of the song, slated to appear on Sept. 18 full-length Optimism, as a present from the creative muse.

“When I was writing it, I was dealing with a relationship ending,” explains the veteran Austinite, who also plays in Knife in the Water. “So I suppose that I was giving to this song the energy, like muscle memory, that I had just been giving that relationship. But that was my half of the conversation with the muse. It doesn't really explain how the song came out like it did.

“Sometimes, I think songs are gifts, not necessarily ‘of me,’ and I just try to be open to that. I hope that this song, and the others on the album, has meaning for people beyond what I understand about it.”

The track’s sparse arrangement and chilling lyrical imagery – the gatekeeper having “black bullets in his hands,” for example – finds compliment in a video featuring the stark art of Austin visualist Jaime Zuverza. View it here:

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Jana Horn, American Friend, Knife in the Water, Deep Time, Adam Jones, Jaime Zuverza

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