When Albuquerque’s Jana Pochop presents her songs with on-point sly and sweet vocals, there is a fascinating intimate portrayal of a singer-songwriter who evokes folk in its purest form. While many a ’70s artist might come to mind when listening to Pochop’s acoustic joys, modern artists like Lucy Dacus and Snail Mail also are also fair comparisons. Glide is premiering the ravishing new single “Maps” (below) from Pochop that is a rainy day confidante that proves the artist can perform acoustically with a bold mix of rawness and optimism.
“Since I have been a full-on freelancer for over a decade, I think I have reached a point of success in that I get to dictate my days and no two days are alike.” says Pochop, a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for pop songs, wandering and slow drip coffee. Joining the ranks of fellow do-it-yourself Texan Troubadours such as Susan Gibson, Jeff Plankenhorn and Terri Hendrix, Jana has long since mastered the art of creating your own destiny and teaching other songwriters the importance of the pivot. Case in point, the completion of her newest record, ‘The Astronaut’, during a worldwide pandemic that received critical acclaim.
A project born in 2019, shelved due to the hectic (pre-covid) life of a traveling musician, waiting to truly start then finish the album turned out to be serendipitous. As the world shut down, the creators opened up – both indelible acts of survival. New ways to collaborate were placed on the proverbial table and Jana, along with Producer Daniel Barrett, took this opportunity, masked up and ran – straight to Congress House Studio in Austin. With Mark Hallman now on board to engineer the rolling process, Pochop recorded her vocals and guitar parts in just two days, which speaks to the creative, resilient force that she aims to keep well-fed.
The brilliant yet endlessly humble Pochop felt it was the pandemic that allowed her the opportunity to collab with key heroes such as Sean Hutchinson of Bleachers, Lloyd Maines, Eliza Gilkyson and Don Dixon, whom Jana knew as the bassist for Mary Chapin Carpenter but also boasts producing credits for bands like REM and Gin Blossoms. ‘The Astronaut’ is as diverse as it is poetic and as grounded as it is inquisitive. From a stunning co-write and harmonious duet with Shawnee Kilgore (The Hard Part) to an accidental precursor to 2020 full of just plain good advice (Exit Plan), the record is arriving just when the world needs it most.