From The Desk Of Luna: Jana Horn

With their first new music since 2004’s Rendezvous, the master Lou Reed disciples in Luna return to one of their strengths: covers. A Sentimental Education finds the quartet—Dean Wareham, Britta Phillips, Sean Eden and Lee Wall—tackling mostly obscurities by the likes of Yes, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, Mercury Rev and Fleetwood Mac. Simultaneously released companion piece A Place Of Greater Safety EP is all-original, however, though the six songs are instrumentals. Luna will be guest editing all week.

Wall: I found myself in a long-distance relationship with a woman in Austin, Texas. Her birthday was coming up, but I was stuck in Los Angeles and couldn’t be with her on that day. Instead, I decided to send her flowers and thought it would also be nice to have someone sing “Happy Birthday” when the flowers arrived. I didn’t want this to be cheesy or showy. She had told me that she didn’t like the attention that usually comes with that song. But I knew that if I found the right singer, someone who could sing softly so that it wouldn’t embarrass her, it would be OK.

I didn’t know many musicians in Austin, so I went online and searched. After a lot of scrolling and listening, I found an article about a young songwriter named Jana Horn, calling her “one to watch.” I went to her website and listened to her music. She sang softly, so I knew right away that she would be perfect for this. But then I was struck by how much I liked her songs. Jana’s music, like her voice, has that unique quality of being almost whisper quiet and arresting at the same time. Stillness and motion, like a lullaby sung inside a hurricane. I was instantly pulled in as a listener, which is rare for me these days.

I emailed Jana to ask if she would be interested in singing the birthday song and was surprised at how quickly she responded, yes. A few days later, it all worked out. The flowers were delivered while Jana sang. I felt really lucky. I was just looking for someone to sing “Happy Birthday” to my girlfriend and ended up finding one of the best new artists I’ve heard in a long time. Jana Horn has a new record coming out soon, and you should buy it.