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Jana Horn, 'Jordan'

Austin's Jana Horn makes quietly intense folk music with novelist-like precision. Her words are clear and carefully-chosen, even when singing about ambiguous emotions or subconscious images. This makes you want to listen to her songs over and over, to explore the landscapes she's mapped.

On "Jordan," Horn tells the tale of a spiritual crisis. Biblical language blends with her band's crackling, electronic modernity. Her unnamed character walks from Galilee to Jordan, facing an incomprehensible decision: Do I destroy my family and my city for the sake of belief and blind trust? Bassist Vince Delgado mirrors these hard footsteps with plodding notes, while Horn's voice stays steady as a whisper. She says the song kind of scared her when she wrote it, but felt compelled to record "Jordan" nonetheless. Great songs often make us walk to unfamiliar places.

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