Album: I’m Alone, No You’re Not

Artist: JOSEPH

Skip To: Planets

Not to be that annoying hipster-y fan, but I’m briefly going be that annoying hipster-y fan: I met these lovely ladies about a year ago when they performed on a little nightclub stage as the opener for my favorite band. Since then, they have released a stunning new record, toured with James Bay, and even appeared on The Tonight Show. I am so happy for them. No one deserves success more than these kind, down-to-earth, and downright talented sisters.

I’m Alone, No You’re Not kicks off with the eerie but upbeat “Canyon.” The song carries an exciting, wild-west feel and right from the get go, the sisters show off their harmonic talent. While the accompaniment contains a myriad of instruments, it is their lovely vocals which prove the greatest asset to the song, and this continues into “SOS (Overboard).” The song starts off with a quiet, deep guitar riff. As the song progresses, adding more layers of instrumentation and harmony, it peaks in the chorus. While it has a distinctly fun feel, there is also a desperation about it that compliments the lyrics. “Blood and Tears” follows a similar vocal structure to “SOS” but carries a tone of resolve as the speakers acknowledge both the hardships and victories of their journey.

“Hundred Ways” carries an ominous feel with its echoing instruments, dissonant chords, and darker lyrics. JOSEPH’s incredible vocal talent shines through  on this track as they sing an almost ghostly high-pitched riff. Abandoning distinct choruses and verses, each part becomes its own melody at the end of the song, simultaneously clashing and meshing to an absolutely stunning effect. While it is less eerie than the previous track, “Planets” again features the unique vocal harmonies, as minimal echoing accompaniment adds to the starry, wistful tone.

After the resolve of “I Don’t Mind,” a beautiful track about sticking with someone regardless of their demons, the exciting, wild-west feel returns in “Whirlwind.” Deep drums solidify the lyrical image of thunder. The subsequent track, “White Flag,” is the most unabashedly joyful on the album. Highly percussive and pleasantly cacophonous, this track is straight up fun as the lyrics call on the listener to keep trudging onward and “burn the white flag.”

Backing off immensely, however, “More Alive Than Dead” primarily contains just piano and implements the most interesting and surprising harmonies on the album. Dissonant and sometimes arpeggiated chords make this song so beautiful and relaxing. “Honest,” the lyrics from which the title of the album comes, maintains the acoustic feel with lovely plucked guitar. The instrumentation crescendoes steadily throughout the song, adding layer upon layer as the speaker continually tries to reassure herself that she is not alone. The album wraps up with the eerie lullaby of “Sweet Dreams.” Like the preceding track, intriguing, even slightly spooky harmonies tell the story throughout. However, part way through the song, the instrumentation picks up immensely and dominates as a kind of finale, only to back down once again to the lovely violin, guitar, and vocals that fade out to the end. Overall, this album is such a masterpiece, and I’m so happy to see this talented trio thrive and succeed.

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I posted this picture on my review of their first album, but it makes me so happy, I’m putting it up again. Keep burning that white flag, JOSEPH. Left to right: Me, Allie Closner, the Fabulous Gina Finn (justcurlythingss.wordpress.com), Natalie Closner, Mikayla (in front), Meegan Closner, Photo-bomber #1, Amanda (aka my twin), and Photo-bomber #2.

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