Album review | Janel & Anthony’s Where Is Home

by Luke Stewart
Editorial board

Janel & Anthony is not a jazz group. Janel & Anthony is not an indie-rock band. They are not a classical duo.

Janel & Anthony are in a genre all of their own. Since the release of Where is Home this year on the Silver Spring-based Cuneiform Records, the electro-acoustic duo has quickly achieved a cult following among the experimental music community.


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Formed in Northern Virginia, Janel & Anthony started jamming together in the early 2000s when they were on break from college. Janel’s classical training and Anthony’s jazz abilities combined to form a radical new sound. Over the years, that sound has developed into a cohesive array of original music that sweeps and undulates with digitally altered tones and subtle rhythms.

“Big Sur,” Janel & Anthony

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The songs on their new album are a pleasant mix of composed material interspersed with improvised vignettes. The mood overall is melancholy and beautiful, evoking the emotions of a vagabond musician. Where is Home is an appropriate title and theme for this release.

From the rock-leaning “Big Sur” to the cinematic “Where Will We Go,” the duo masterfully crafts soundscapes using a collection of effects pedals, while executing each composition with virtuosity.

You can purchase Where Is Home at cuneiformrecords.com.

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About Giovanni Russonello

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Giovanni is a regular contributor to JazzTimes, and the host of “On the Margin,” a books show on WPFW-FM. He has written articles for The New York Times, The Atlantic online, msnbc.com, NPR Music, Politico and others. He graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in history, with a focus on African-American history. He’s a recreational pianist with enough self-awareness to know he really shouldn’t play much outside home. You can reach Giovanni at editor@capitalbop.com.

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