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Big Joanie, "Sistahs"

Three piece girl band Big Joanie hailing from the UK have made a splash internationally, opening for such luminaries as Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill and attracting much critical acclaim. Landing somewhere between thematically punk rock and musically pop rock, they manage to sound cool and direct while lamenting about men, sex, friendship, and modern life as black women.

The Daydream Library Series

The vocal delivery and instrumental attack lacks the rage of riot grrl, but that’s not to say their music is without confrontation. They tackle subjects inherent in their identity as marginalized minorities when they please, such as on the sarcastic track "Token." But for the most part, topics are personal and light, dealing with feelings and relationships.

The music is concordant and propulsive, with electric guitar that’s simple and catchy and drums played with a deft touch—more of a hand clapper than a head banger. The album has energy, but it’s an understated energy. They’re the kind of songs that are nice to listen to at home, but that you know they could probably tear it up when playing live. Opening track "New Year" is especially upbeat and compelling, with an unforgettable vocal hook. Bookended track "Cut Your Hair" is also a standout, a bit of sweet lullaby sung to someone loved.

This album, Sistahs, is the first full length release for Big Joanie and shows more polish than their earlier singles. Their sound has coalesced into something both driving and digestible, with a feminist voice that I hope to hear more from in the future.

samples available here