Jana Horn

The Window Is The Dream (No Quarter)

Contact Jacob Daneman about Jana Horn

Today, Jana Horn presents “Days Go By,” the new single/visualizer from her forthcoming album, The Window is The Dream, out April 7th on No Quarter. Following an arresting trail of singles — the “shuffling, wriggling” (Stereogum) “The Dream” and “After All This Time,” “a nuanced portrait of memory, loss, and forgiveness” (The FADER) — “Days Go By” channels Syd Barrett ennui, filtered through Horn’s signature ambiguous lens. Horn’s lyrics reach toward something intangible and universal. It’s not always obvious what is happening, but as she sings on “Days Go By,” “maybe one thing doesn’t lead to the next.” The magic of The Window is The Dream lies in feeling the space, in waiting to see what comes next. “There’s this wonderful mystical quality about writing,” Horn says. “It’s always a surprise and a joy to uncover something that was maybe waiting to be unwrapped.”


Of “Days Go By,” Horn adds: “‘Days Go By’ is the first song I wrote for this album, kind of. I began thrumming its two notes, repeating its refrain, ‘days go by / they don’t have time,’ the summer in Austin before I moved to Virginia. This song feels a bit like a bridge between two lives. It spans time, place. I’m glad it was slow to come (‘distance is a gift / not chosen’). And now that I’ve written ‘spans time,’ all I’m thinking of is Buffalo 66…”


The Window is The Dream emerged from a period of reflection while Horn was deeply engaged in creative writing studies in Charlottesville, Virginia. Unlike her beloved debut Optimism, The Window is The Dream “was written in one room, essentially. When you have nowhere to go, you go into memory, and memories of dreams… I was in a different headspace.” The backdrop to these songs is  largely — the works of Clarice Lispector, Italo Calvino, Jorge Luis Borges, the Bhagavad Gita — as Horn had very little access to music at the time she was writing them. “The radio in my car broke, I don’t have streaming services and my laptop doesn’t work well.”


When recording The Window Is The Dream, Horn split her time between longtime friend Jared Samuel Elioseff’s Pale Moon Sessions in upstate New York, as well as Craig Ross’ Studio 4 in Austin, Texas. The latter offered Horn a wealth of collaborators from her days in the Austin music scene, including sometime-Bill-Callahan-drummer Adam Jones, experimental guitarist Jonathan Horne, and  vibraphonist Sarah La Puerta Gautier to name a few. The resulting record is a Rothko-esque color field set to music, venturing deeper into Horn’s inner space than ever before.


The Window Is The Dream is an entry into a world very much Horn’s own, where the words and the music only serve to showcase the inviting gaps in-between. The lyrics on The Window Is The Dream contain plenty of Horn’s personal detritus, but as Horn clarifies, “I hope that I’m presenting things in such a way that’s not ambiguous, but abstracted, so that you enter in. Some people describe my lyrics as being not specific enough but I’m not interested in presenting a diary. I’d like you to feel your way through it.”