Jana Hunter Blank Unstaring Heirs of Doom

Jana Hunter’s first full-length is a lesson in how to produce a solid debut with depth and diversity. Written over ten years and recorded alone, Blank is built on echoing vocals, simple orchestration, acoustic guitar and handclaps. Though the song structures and instrumentation vary, the album is sewn together by sadly sweet lyrics and Hunter’s low, drawling voice that makes everything haunting and delicate. "The Earth Has No Skin” is a chorus of Jana’s overdubbed and echoing, like a sad Sunday school choir, and "K” plays like a soundtrack to an early video game and closes the album with an upbeat love song. Part of the ragged, mystic, freak-folk mess, Hunter’s release is the first on Gnomonsong Records, started by Devendra Banhart and Andy Cabic of Vetiver; anyone familiar with 2004’s Golden Apples in the Sun will recognise "Farm, Ca” which originally appeared on the compilation. Whether you’re sick of Banhart’s current reign over the folk scene or not, Hunter’s album is one of the most astonishing; she’s cultivated her own gorgeous melancholy. (Brash)