Portland’s Dana Buoy is thrilled to share “When It’s You I See,” the latest single from her new album, Experiments in Plant-Based Music: Vol. I will be releasing on May 13 via Everloving Records (pre-order). The song debuted today at Under The Radar and will be available on all streaming services this Friday for all playlist shares.
On the song Under The Radar says, “Lush splashes of synths and watery melodies usher the song into a floating reverie, only for Jannsen to then veer into a bouncing pop chorus and a kaleidoscopic synth interlude. Later the track reaches its climax with a sunny trumpet solo courtesy of Kelly Pratt (Beirut, Father John Misty, The War on Drugs) closing the track on a note of indelible joy. Jannsen’s real talent is finding the right frame to linking these elements together. Each part feels like a different limb on a tree, branching off in different directions while sharing common roots.”
Dana Buoy added, “This is a song for Henry. A young man I adore, and who he will always be there for as he continues to grow and experience the wonders of nature.”
“When It’s You I See” follows the album’s first single “Maidenhair” which is inspired by 1970s composer Mort Garson, who created his gentle mood for the fern maidenhair, his keyboards seeming to trace his endlessly coiled fronds . Dana Bouy continues with “Maidenhair,” an irrepressible love song intertwined with cascading flutes and built with its own world of kaleidoscopic keys. By the time the horn finale arrives, you’ll need to know exactly what’s so enchanting about this plant.
“Maidenhair” debuted in Brooklyn Vegan and is available on all streaming platforms.
Experiments in Plant Music: Vol. I is the latest release from longtime Akron/Family drummer Dana Janssen, who has been making kaleidoscopic pop as Dana Buoy for a decade.
Janssen’s exuberant and oddly reassuring synthesis of those previously parallel domestic alleys, indoor plants and a domestic drum kit. Inspired by the flora that reigns downstairs and Mort Garson’s endlessly enjoyable Plantasia, and crafted in the basement below, these 12 tracks of lush pop – rooted in Steely Dan and synthesizer strata, l afrobeat energy and astral harmonies, Robert Hunter’s koans and right horns – offer new mantras and forward-looking maps of our complicated lives. “From the nest we fall in no time,” Janssen coos at one point over incisive funk. “Know I got you, I got you.” If you’re worried about the New Age boredom of a photosynthesis-inspired record, don’t: Janssen wants you to sing along with what he’s learned.
Accessibility has almost always been paramount to Janssen, despite his enduring association with “New Weird America” through Akron/Family, arguably the most limitless Pied Piper in this systemically nebulous scene. But before Akron/Family took listeners to a strange place, they infallibly started with a song, a hummable artifact that remained even as they spiraled. Singing behind the drums, Janssen often provided a sense of melodic ballast, rooting Akron/Family against the unknown.
Janssen’s previous two albums as Dana Buoy charted that territory — unabashed pop songs informed by R&B and electro — without the compromise that band life entailed. But remember: he didn’t have a drum before. These songs are different not only because of their botanical genesis but because genuine percussion prompted Janssen to play outside of a strict rhythmic grid and to recruit outside collaborators. Longtime acquaintance-turned-close friend Kelly Pratt arranged and played the cataracts and horn stunts here, adding Dana Buoy to a resume that includes relationships with Beirut, Father John Misty and The War on Drugs. Justin Miller, meanwhile, took care of the bass, his bulbous tone a perfect counterpart to Janssen’s angular approach. (John McEntire, of Tortoise and something of a hero for Janssen, offered crucial mixing assistance.) After Akron/Family, these are Janssen’s deepest musical relationships.
These songs swing and sway, their huge choruses driven by a band that perfectly balances the hard and the soft, the aggressive and the haunting. Lead single “Maidenhair” enjoys winning acclaim, Janssen using the love life of ferns to celebrate the secure relationships we all hope to find over splashing keys and singing horns. The trio dives again and again into the free space of Electric Miles, still clinging to an indelible hook.
Experiments in Plant Music: Vol. I come at a difficult time for Janssen. Only a year ago, Miles Seaton – for so long Janssen’s rhythmic and spiritual counterpart in Akron/Family – died in a car accident near the other end of Oregon, a tragedy amplified by the recent revival of their cooperation. (Seaton sings on a track here, while Akron/Family’s Seth Olinsky takes a guitar solo.) future after the end of something that defined you for so long.
In a very real sense, therefore, plants helped Janssen find meaning and metaphors for what was and what could be next. In these songs, it sounds like measured hope. “Naked root, growing in the air,” he sings at the center of “Eventually, Good Comes to Pass,” an anthem that mixes piles of puns, acid jazz sheets and winks. to the pointillism of Steve Reich. The last word hangs in the cacophony of space, like an unheard, anxious plea, before Janssen returns to the steady bassline and title mantra. “Good,” he finally sings, timidly but with a welcome modicum of confidence. “Come stay.”
Listen to the new single here: