Listening to Joanne Roberston’s debut album is something I’ve been doing in bits and pieces for quite a while. Songs have come, songs have gone, and while I miss some of the tunes that have disappeared into the aether, the remaining selections are uniformly stellar.
It’s hard to describe exactly how Joanne’s songs function. In certain ways they bear a similarity to folk music. Empiricially, they fulfill most of that genre’s requirements, but they actually hew to none of its conventions. The lyrics, the structures, the rhythms all breathe with a unique quality that feels born of a free improvisational impulse rarely associated with folk music. The surface of this music is so casual it almost defies you to get close enough to really see it, really try to comprehend it. But the closer you listen, the weirder and deeper everything becomes. (Byron Coley)