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.
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.
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.
Andrew Lockwood’s Top Albums of 2014
10) Luke Sital-Singh - 'The Fire Inside'
A mixture of previous EP releases and new material 'The Fire Inside' is a fully loaded debut album from the short listed 'Sound Of 2014' artist. Luke wears his heart on his sleeve through tragedy, torment and failed relationships giving rise to some magical musical moments.
9) Deptford Goth - 'Songs'
The second album from Daniel Woolhouse is a thing of joy that needs to be appreciated without distraction, It's soft, smooth and oh so soothing, it can't fail but to relax and chill you out. If you need to wind down just let it wash over you, you'll feel all the better for it.
8) Perfume Genius - 'Too Bright'
Mike Hadreas has broadened his horizons on this, his fourth album. Here he not only deliveries on his signature piano ballads but also explores new sonic territory to great effect. Too Bright is a multifaceted album full of surprises that never fails to delight.
Continue reading: Andrew Lockwood’s Top Albums of 2014
Having had to wait just over three years for a follow-up to one of the best albums of 2011, anticipation has been one of high but anxious expectation. Thankfully, the anxiety element was entirely unnecessary as 'The Classic', Joan as Police Woman's fourth album, is a stunning follow-up to 2011's 'The Deep Field'.
The whole album has a feeling of being such a complete and cohesive piece of work bound by wonderfully exuberant and sumptuous threads. 'The Classic' is another accomplished, fully-formed album from the formidable Joan Wasser. The maturity and dexterity with which 'The Deep Field' was delivered is, again, in evidence here. This time around though, Joan has allowed herself more freedom and a more indulgent framework, and as such she has become even more expressive.
The temperament with which Joan approaches her work is perfectly presented on 'The Classic'. Joan has once again shown just how good an album can be without the need to languish in melancholy. The mood of her latest work embodies her 'lust for life' and beautifully encapsulates an upbeat, life-affirming disposition. Having gone back to a more traditional live recording set up, Joan has managed to capture a real sense of joy and happiness. There is little shoe gazing and plenty of celebration.
Continue reading: Joan As Police Woman - The Classic Album Review
The Deep Field represents only the third full length album from Joan as Police Woman. (You can get a forth but only at the live shows). Ostensibly the vehicle and work of Joan Wasser, Joan As Police Woman started releasing music back in 2004 with the debut album 'Real Life'. You, as I, may be forgiven for thinking her output had been more substantial. She, or they, if you include other band members, seem to have been an ever present. Always consistently reliable in terms of quality and character, Joan As Police Woman really only tells half the story as her other work shows why she's never far off the musical radar.
Joan's work with many esteemed artists, since the tragic death of her then partner Jeff Buckley, has been not only extensive, eclectic and often emotional it has also been highly productive, usually reaping some fantastic results. Working with Anthony & The Johnson's on their best album to date, 'I Am A Bird Now' may 'Have saved her life' but subsequent work with the likes of David Sylvian, LLoyd Cole, Rufus Wainwright and The Guillemots, amongst others, has only served to develop what was already an awesomely talented singer, musician, writer and performer.
Continue reading: Joan As Police Woman, The Deep Field Album Review