The Eclectic Pop of ‘JOAN’
The Eclectic Pop of ‘JOAN’
Adriana SaboMonday,22 June 2015
“The feel is the family“. These five words can mean a bunch of things, but in this case, they are closely tied to a band named JOAN and their debut album, also named JOAN that was released on the first day of June. Namely, the quoted words are a motto of the band that is all about feeling and the togetherness.
JOAN are Nick Farago, “The Word. Think ‘Leonard Cohen + Prince'”, Hank Mittnacht “The Sound. Think ‘all the Beach Boys combined'” and Graeme Daubert. Nick, Hank and Greame also have a large, large family that helped them make this album, hence the motto. In a heartfelt “thank you” notes section at the bottom of their Bandcamp page, they thank every single one of them and this feeling of unity and togetherness is something that instantly defined JOAN for me. In every song they made, I heard precisely that: a group of people who think of each other as family, working together to make something amazing.
JOAN is truly an amazing album. Their influences are many and “pop” or “funk” don’t even begin to describe it. The 13 songs that appear on JOAN are quite different from one another, each inspired by something or someone else. The opening track, “Greenwich Dive,” is a fun pop song with elements of synth, electro-pop and the “just a sprinkle” of funk that spices up most of the songs on the album. “Firefly” follows, and it’s a sexy, kind of psychedelic, Motown funky number; next, “Mrs. Discover” rings many “Beatles bells” from the band’s more experimental phase. “Miami Night” introduces more electronic/disco/eighties vibes, “Jesus Freak” has a bluesy note, “Lion Tamer” pulls more to the experimental side and then “Right!” opens itself up to r’n’r. “The Shame” is one of my favorite tracks from JOAN due to its simplicity and loveliness. The list goes on. Each track introduces a different musical flavor, making an eclectic, colorful album that has something for everyone.
Obviously, there is a great musical experience in the background of JOAN. Influences are many, and this three piece band obviously isn’t thinking in terms of genres when they make music. One thing that is usually a minus, but a huge plus in this case, is precisely the variety of styles that shape each track. They make this album seem fragmented; as a result, you can really enjoy it as a whole, but at the same time, each song can stand alone perfectly. And each one can be made into a hit number, depending on what is in demand.
JOAN is warm, soft, creative and can be enjoyed from a number of different angles. All you have to do is press play and enjoy.