Saturday, 27 December 2008

Escaping Hallelujah Bollockry with Joan As Police Woman


With all the talk of Jeff Buckley, lately – thanks (if 'thanks' be quite the word) to X-Factor 'Hallelujah' bollockry – Heavy Soil is impelled to direct its followers ears in a wholly different direction at the Buckey crossroads.

That direction? Joan As Police Woman. Who – to these ears – is rather Buckleyesque. Not so much in terms of her vocals themselves (considerably less acrobatically inclined); more the character of the songwriting and the soul-infused performances.

I've been listening to 2008's album To Survive, from which today's Heavy Song is taken:


The swoops, changes and intensity all recall Buckley.

I'd recommend giving the whole album a listen or five – as the above track illustrates but one facet. Opener 'Honor Wishes', for instance, is like a lush, woody Portishead (combining hypnotic presence and near-funereal groove).

Throughout the album, there's a sparseness and a freeform quality to the songs that's almost classical, at times. Certainly, the music gives the impression of organicity, rather than contrivance – full of sinuous lines and pellucid arrangements.

Alternative, soul-soaked chamber pop? Something like that, perhaps.

I remember reading something said in an interview by Fyfe "Dangerfield", lead singer of the Guillemots (alongside whom I once sang tenor in the school choir, would you believe?). He said that Guillemots' aim was to make soul music cool again. Or something along those lines.

I have to say, old boy: Joan beat you to it, rather.


1 comment:

acraig said...

I believe Charlie Brooker said it best in his Screenwipe Review of the Year -- Hallelujah has been ruined, destined to be played at the funerals of idiots.

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