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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.
Whilst 2016 has been too full of tragedy and sad loss it has also undoubtedly been a bumper year in terms of album releases.
There is no way to aptly mark the passing of some of the very best artists of any generation but in amongst the untimely deaths has come some inspirational and ground breaking music.
My albums are all ones I have enjoyed immensely and continue to play. Whilst Radiohead, M.I.A, Peter Doherty and many others may have missed the cut it wasn't really a difficult choice this year. It may not be all that eclectic but there are some great albums in there. Nick Cave's Skeleton Tree is not only this years best album but also an album that is rapidly becoming one of my all time favourites, it's just so good.
Continue reading: Andrew Lockwood's Top Ten Albums Of 2016
From Brooklyn to Brighton, via sleet and snow, Joan as Police Woman and Benjamin Lazar Davis came to the Haunt in Brighton to showcase their latest collaborative album, 'Let It Be You', Thankfully the weather in Brighton was a lot better than their drive down from Hebden Bridge, the venue for the previous night's gig. Here, in the screening room of a converted cinema, Joan, Ben and band took to the stage to perform album highlights as well as some of Joan's solo back catalogue.
Appearing throughout, as per the album cover, in blue jumpsuits (Think Kwik Fit ad extras vs 70's L.A car wash) Joan and Ben set about mixing the very new with the very special. The gig got off to a strong start and hardly faltered in the near ninety minute set. Opening with 'Satellite' it was clear that Joan was in good voice, her vocal at the forefront of this track and sounding especially emotive as the song de-constructed into a near A cappella end. Album highlight 'Magic Lamp', followed by its more angular title track and soulful reflection, 'Hurts So Bad', were up next; Joan, Ben and band assuredly affirming the quality of their new record.
At five songs in Joan went back a decade to revisit her first solo album, 'Real Life', with a stirring, organ heavy, version of 'Save Me'. Shortly afterwards Joan went solo again, alone on stage as she initially struggled to relieve herself of her, rather more difficult to take off than anticipated, wrist band. "Thanks for understanding my plight" she commented to the crowd, "I'm free at last". Stood at the keys, Joan first played out, 'To Be Loved', from her second record 'To Survive', and then, guitar in hand, proceeded to deliver a fabulous take on 'We Don't Own It'.
Following the release of two incredibly good albums in recent years, 'The Deep Field' from 2011 and 'The Classic' from 2014, Joan APW has decided to throw a slight curve ball on her latest record, 'Let It Be You'. For this, her 5th full length album proper, she has teamed up with producer, performer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and serial collaborator, Benjamin Lazar Davis. (Joan herself is knowingly never averse to an opportunity to collaborate either having previously worked with Antony Hegarty, Lou Reed, Brian Molko and Lloyd Cole amongst many others)
With both artists mining a rich vein of creativity in isolation the prospect of a joint venture would, at least conceptually, sound very appealing. Where Joan excels is in her delivery and expression. Her soulful, smouldering, sometimes smoking vocal is a wonderful thing to experience. It's often said of many an artist that they have a unique, individual or immediately identifiable voice but it's also often a crock of sh**. Joan however is the real deal, the reason why so many other artists want to work with her, want to use her vocal, want her input or desire her participation. Joan defies classification because of the diversity of her work but at the very least, certainly in terms of contemporary soul vocalists, there are few who come close to touching her.
So why Benjamin? What does Ben bring to the table that's made Joan hook up and make an entire album? Has he brought anything identifiable, anything to make this a worthwhile and productive collaboration? On balance I'd have to say yes he has on both counts. If you don't explore the possibilities you'll never know what could have been and throughout 'Let It Be You' the pair are clearly keen on shaping a new sound through a creative musical exploration.
Continue reading: Joan As Police Woman & Benjamin Lazar Davis - Let It Be You Album Review
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
Date of birth
26th July, 1970
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@geiom THANK YOU!!
It's 2017. I am glad. It's new. Every moment we are new but it's nice to have it all official and shit.
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