Juniper Tar

It is 6:30 am in the Midwest.  The light is just now peeking over the trees in the backyard and through the limbs of the tree that I hate (the only tree for which I’ve ever held any disdain).  I am awake.  But my eyes are still closed.  I am taking in “Innerstates” and it only seems right to do so with eyelids down, blocking out that light that’s waking alongside my coffee and I.  My head might be swaying side to side, at this half-awake hour.

And now it certainly is.

In a short hour or so, I’ll make my way to work.  I’ll sit in a ragged office chair in front of a sketchy computer and I’ll spend my day diggin’ through boxes.  But those things are important to me, you see.  Here at home, we listen to music all day but at work, that’s not allowed.  Unless it’s gospel, it’s forbidden.  I wish my employers put stock in the music I consider my own personal gospel for if they did, today we’d all be listening to Juniper Tar‘s Howl Street EP while we worked.

{These dudes refer to themselves as Juniper Tar.  That is also used as “an antiseptic stimulant in ointments for skin disorders”.  It sounds more awesome in reference to a band.}

At my job, I am charged with sorting through boxes of old things, deemed unworthy of keeping by others but considered of at least some worth by us.  Sometimes these things come from people cleaning out their closets and garages but other times, these things come from the homes of people that have passed on into whatever world there is that awaits us all in the end.  I am consistently amazed at what those families consider worth keeping and what they do not; we have been given wedding dresses from the 1940s (included with that bit were Grandma and Grandpa’s wedding invitations and place settings from their reception), we have been given old military uniforms (obviously worn, having participated in conflict), we have been given metal boxes full of negatives taken by someone’s grandfather during his stint as a Navy gunner.  We have been given the prized possessions of those who are no longer here to explain how valuable they are.

This might seem like a stretch to you, dear readers, but Juniper Tar’s Howl Street is not unlike that metal box full of negatives.  Both have been largely overlooked (and wrongly so).  Both were at one time buried beneath my reaches and today, because I am a digger, an archeologist of the musical variety, they have been found.  Both have astonished those who have encountered them when they’ve made it into the light.  And both have made an impact on me.

This album feels old and yet so full of breathing life, just like that box.  It sounds handmade and yet it’s tight (actually, it’s really fucking tight), all there for us to see and feel.  To dig through.  Born from my own experience, I can tell you that Howl Street does require that digging (despite it’s EP status).  It’s grown on me and that’s only because I gave it a real chance.  I liked it the first time through; I loved it the 15th and 16th.  I do not feel the opposite of confident in saying that the same will be true for you.

To me, Juniper Tar is like music for the downtrodden made by those who’ve been there and walked out on the other side, eyes pointed up towards the skies and thankful for it.


Juniper Tar :: Innerstates [MP3]

Juniper Tar :: The Mouths of Fields [MP3]

BUY The Howl Street EP :: SIGN UP for Juniper Tar’s mailing list & get To The Trees FREE :: MYSPACE

BONUS! Download Wisco: A Tribute to Wilco’s Summerteeth featuring Juniper Tar (among other badass bands) from Muzzle of Bees.