Album of the Week: Joseph, 'I'm Alone, No You're Not'

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Joseph
Joseph's "I'm Alone, No You're Not" comes out Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. (ATO Records)

I'm Alone, No You're Not could be considered the debut from one of the year's most promising acts. Although it's not Joseph's first album, it's a musical statement that the sister trio from Portland, Ore., have found their voices as songwriters and performers.

Working with Mike Mogis at his Omaha studio, the Closner sisters — Natalie, Allison and Meegan — captured the bold and dynamic sounds that come from the combination of their voices. Three voices as one isn't always an equation for sonic harmony, but Joseph strike the perfect balance on all 11 songs on the new release. Critics have been quick to compare them to other sister groups such as First Aid Kit and The Staves, but that denies Joseph (and other sibling bands) the credit they are due.

It takes more than family ties to write, record and perform the songs you'll hear on Joseph's sophomore album. Natalie, Allison and Meegan exhibit a new self-awareness that wasn't fully realized on Native Dreamer Kin. They stretch beyond their folk influences and incorporate rock and pop into their songwriting. Listen to "SOS (Overboard)" and "Blood and Tears," which are appropriately sequenced back to back on the first half of the album, and you'll hear what could easily be two powerful pop songs.

Fortunately, Joseph didn't overdo the production and left the nuances of their talent as live performers throughout the melodic hooks and catchy choruses. Joseph manage to include pop and rock influences without betraying their soulful folk side, the best example of that being the album's lead single, "White Flag," which has become a fan favorite at their shows. Their live performances were what helped build their sound to this point, and I'm Alone, No You're Not captures that dynamic as they have stepped away from a backing band because of their strength as a trio. For their fans, the album is everything they've come to expect and more. For listeners who are just meeting Joseph, it's a bold introduction.

I'm Alone, No You're Not is out on Friday, Aug. 26, on ATO Records.

Resources

Joseph - official site

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  • Oregon trio Joseph perform in The Current studio Joseph are a trio from Portland, Ore., comprising sisters Natalie, Allison and Meegan Closner. Besides their tight, sibling harmonies, their family ties create something intangible. 'There's also this entire lifetime of shared experience,' Natalie says. '[We're] bringing the spirit of that into the music as well.' Discover the music of Joseph in this session hosted by The Current's David Safar.

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