Joan as Police Woman (Joan Wasser, born 26.7.1970)
Joan Wasser is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She is best known for her performances under the guise of Joan as Police Woman. Wasser has also undertaken studio work for the likes of Lou Reed, Tanya Donnelly, Sheryl Crow and the Scissor Sisters.
Joan as Police Woman: Childhood & Early Career
Joan Wasser was raised in Norwalk, Connecticut. She took a number of music lessons as a child, including piano and violin. Her music career started in earnest whilst she was at Boston University.
She was admitted to university early, to study with Yuri Mazurkevich. She also played with local bands and artists such as Mary Timony, the Lotus Eaters and the Dambuilders.
In 1997, her boyfriend, musician Jeff Buckley, drowned in Memphis, Tennessee. He was the son of the songwriter Tim Buckley. She carried on making music with Those Bastard Souls and later started a band with the remaining members of Jeff's band, called Black Beetle. They recorded an album's worth of material but it was never commercially released.
Joan as Police Woman: Wasser's burgeoning career
Joan Wasser joined Antony and the Johnsons in 1999 and contributed to the album I Am A Bird Now, which went on to win the Mercury Music Prize.
Black Beetle ended in 2002 and prompted Joan to begin work as a solo artist, as well as creating a band around her, named Joan as Police Woman. The trio was formed in New York City, with Ben Perowsky on drums and Rainy Orteca on bass. An eponymous debut EP was released in 2004.
Joan was then invited by Rufus Wainwright to join his band, as well as touring with him and opening the shows with her own project.
Joan as Police Woman's debut album, Real Life, was released in 2006 in the UK and Europe and the following year in the USA. Later in 2006, Joan as Police Woman supported Guillemots, as well as recording with them on their debut album, Through the Windowpane.
Wasser also sang and played violin on 'Ballad of a Deadman' with David Sylvian on Steve Jansen's Slope album in 2007.
The second album from Joan as Police Woman was entitled To Survive and was released in June 2008. When Rainy Orteca left the band, she was replaced by Timo Ellis on bass guitar.
2009 saw Joan as Police Woman release an album of cover versions, entitled Cover. The compilation saw her take on artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Iggy Pop and David Bowie.
The Deep Field, the next studio album from Joan As Police Woman was released in January 2011.