See, Janfaza’s cues are normal enough in the indie world: she’s got a lot of My Bloody Valentine’s ethereality, Liz Phair’s snarl, even a smear of Juliana Hatfield’s whiplash and Bilinda Butcher’s dreamstates – but the ambitions she yanks out of them aren’t. Her references exist because she cares for the way that these lodestars reframed what it meant to feel naked inside a pop’s framework. She loves the way that the singer-songwriter moved into new, moody territory in the ’90s – care of everyone above and their inimitable godhead, Alanis Morissette – but even too how the writers of that era (see: Mary Gaitskill) liked to collapse narratives of sex, obsession, and numbness into strange little stories that felt heavy with stark emotional exhibitionism.
But being an emotional exhibitonist means that Janfaza’s many-sided. Even million-sided. Her experiences sometimes feel like multiple people because she is multiple people – we all are – but there’s a drive inside it that wants it to stay that way – to stay ragged and intimate and cringey, because that’s what’s true. Her work’s queer in its variety and possibility, in how much energy it expends in being flexible and contending with conflicting ideas. This is what makes the chaos of living meaningful.
All of this emotional wayfaring comes from the fact that Janfaza’s so disciplined by trade. She’s a classically-trained violinist – sharpening her blade at Georgetown University – but shifted neatly into the Washington, D.C. punk scene with her three-piece bands and noise show acts – spaces where she really polished her pedigree. (D.C.’s inside her through and through – there’s hardcore in her blood, and on the album: Fugazi’s Brendan Canty is on the drums.) So her forensic detail to attention, her yen for unusually cinematic lyrics, her addiction to giving all of her facets their due instead of robbing herself of any emotion – it’s the runoff of a mind that’s working through loosening its grip on impositions and plunging headlong into more unafraid-to-go-there modes.
July 15 – Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong
July 16 – Brooklyn, NY @ No Aloha
July 17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Ukie Club
2. Peeling Crown
3. Dial Tone
5. Figure 5
6. It’s So Over
7. Heartfaced Scarshape