Janel Leppin and Anthony Pirog make up the Washington D.C.-based instrumental duo, Janel & Anthony. The duo has released their second full-length album, Where Is Home, earlier this year. Janel’s cello stylings come together with Anthony on guitar, matched with variations on loops and electronics. The cello and guitar do not overstep their boundaries as they are both heard clearly and equally spotlighted from track to track.
Normally, any trained and untrained musical ear is used to hearing cello in a classical music genre, or at least associating it to that. Leppin’s ability to transcend classical training on the cello to this new wave of eclectic, experimental music makes it so interesting to listen to. From the pleasantly haunting riffs and tones produced from the cello on “The Clearing” or to the more lyrical melodies on “Broome’s Orchard,” Leppin is bringing a whole new style to the table.
Pirog’s evident talent on the guitar complements Leppin on the cello. The electronics are not overused and only sprinkled in the appropriate sections, which is comforting being that most artists tend to overuse them. The electronics are showcased in “Where Will We Go,” though they act as mere accents and never once overshadow the cello and guitar. As a duo, Janel and Anthony are a force to be reckoned in the experimental genre. Together, their talent and professional training has made a brave leap in new age music and nothing went awry in doing so. Where Is Home embodies key characteristics of a great album and leaves listeners wanting to hear more.
In A Word: Brave