In June 2018, I got the call that my father was dying. We’d hardly spoken for 7 years. In the moments between, when I allow myself to open that box and visit his memory, I can reflect on the beauty and sadness of those last 2 months we spent together. We were 500 miles apart, but each phone and video call brought us closer than we’d been in years. We cried together; we laughed together, but we never said goodbye.
The Juans have a gift for making us open our hearts and allowing us to be emotional in a way that feels safe
Carl was right when he said that, for most of us, our first heartbreak isn’t really romantic. Like so many, I come from a broken home, and The Juans' latest single, ‘Back Home’ speaks to me in a way that I’m not always ready to face or to talk about. The wound left behind by my father’s passing is an old one, but each line of The Juans' new single speaks to my memory of him - the person I still want back home. I suspect the same is true of all who hear it.
Nostalgia weaves its way through every line and every moment of both the lyric video and the live performance of ‘Back Home’. It embraces the distortion of VHS and old photos in a way that reminds me of home videos and memories from a time I can watch but never return to. Empty frames on the walls are a reminder of the things left empty in the absence of those we love. Even the beat is like a heartbeat - reminding us that we are alive and breathing despite the pain that lingers into our adulthood. It’s something I’ve come to expect from The Juans - perfection in the details.
The stories in their music inspire us to rise higher, to be open and honest and to find peace.
With so much of their music arising from personal stories, it only feels right to share ours too. There is wisdom in all the discography of The Juans and ‘Back Home’ is no exception. I can feel the personal emotion of this single every bit as much as I did in ‘Sabik’ and ‘Salamin’ and ‘Kuya’. The stories in their music inspire us to rise higher, to be open and honest and to find peace.
Like the photos, old magazines and home videos of ‘Back Home’, the memories of my father live in a box in my mind. I think I will always want him back home - but sometimes, there are no goodbyes and no answers and no notes. The Juans have a gift for making us open our hearts and allowing us to be emotional in a way that feels safe. They’ve had moments where they were viral - and they are due again. There is a world that needs their particular brand of healing.