For the Northern California duo of Shahana Jaffer and Joey LaRosa, their musical partnership as Junaco is based on intention and paying attention to their present moment. Their most recent single “Weight of the World” is conscientious dream-pop with bursting synths akin to Beach House and graceful vocals in line with those of Lucy Dacus. Together, Junaco paint an exuberant collection of sounds while questioning the world they have to create them in. “This time I’m running from the radio, TV / I don’t believe in who’s behind those things,” Jaffer sings before asking, “Who put the weight of the world in the palm of your hand?”
Produced with James McAlister, who’s worked with Sufjan Stevens and Taylor Swift, “Weight of the World” began as a somber piano ballad that took on a new life when the duo entered the studio. They were also inspired by Mike Viola’s album The American Egypt and the podcast The Time Sensitive, specifically the episode with Jesse Kamm, “where she talks about the quality of life and level of happiness when communities are full of creation and purpose, something we may have lost when big corporations began to seep into our everyday lives.”
The duo said that “when writing this song, we felt like we had a strong message to convey—being overwhelmed with the constant change and forward motion and evolution towards what feels like being less human.”
Listen to “Weight of the World” below, pre-save here via Side Hustle Records.