Through Juniper Vale is a project that reminds us the creativity that lies in music can be endless. Vocalist Sarah Jane Wood has combined her breathless, dream-pop sound with the artistic imagination of Hein Zaayman to create a release like no other. The first single, “The Last Time,” provides a kind of soundtrack for a story that revolves around Sarah Jane and her companion, a giant turtle named Senalala. The two of them are in search for the meaning of home and venture out of their own village to find it.
What makes Through Juniper Vale so interesting, is that the track does not stand alone as a conceptual piece of music. Rather, it is accompanied by illustrations and a “Traveler’s Log” that reads like a short story. The musician’s website invites us to come on the adventure with them as they attempt to find home and belonging in the overgrown land of the unknown. “The Last Time” is only the beginning on that adventure.
The single itself is intriguing, suggesting influences from bands like The Gathering and MS MR who have perfected the alt-rock dream pop sound. Sarah Jane Wood becomes her character through her vocal tale, and sings with the innocence only a wide-eyed adventurer could. The musical accompaniment provided by Vian Izak and Everett Davis crosses over from classical influences into new-age use of electronic and alternative synth. The entirety of the creation paints the landscape of the band’s overall story. It may suggest at promising things to come, but also leaves us at the edge of our seats as to what to expect next from Sarah Jane’s journey.
You can listen to “The Last Time” here: