Album Review: For You Who Are the Wronged by Kathryn Joseph
Excellent, Based on 3 Critics
The Line of Best Fit - 80 Based on rating 8/10
It's a tender, tentative, brave and bitter look at a world full of abusive and toxic relationships in which Joseph inhabits an ever fluctuating narrative. She flits from the perspective of an observer, a friend to an abuser to a survivor but you alwyas know what side she's on - this record is about giving a voice to the voiceless, power to the powerless, and comfort to those who need it so desperately. Recorded over the space of a week at Length's Studio in the Scottish Highlands with musician and producer Lomond Campbell, Joseph's third studio album is certainly her most succinct to date and should be consumed whole.
Part catharsis, confession, panacea, exhumation and confrontation, these are mantras for healing, hurting and helping Over three glacially-produced albums, Kathryn Joseph has woven a web of gothic, piano-driven songs dealing with some heavy subjects (failed relationships, infant death and betrayal) while maintaining a beautifully critical eye and ear for the delicate steps between despair and desires. Where her 2015 debut (Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood You Have Spilled) centred on the sometimes austere setting of voice and piano, and 2018's follow-up (From When I Wake The Want Is) ushered in percussive elements, here instrumentation is sparse, with electronic undulations couching the songs in a soft and sometimes prickly beds. This is in no small part to the sympathetic co-production with Lomond Campbell that allows the 2020-era demos to retain their rawness while fashioning an intimate sound world.
Everything Kathryn Joseph touches has this magnetic quality - it's not music to be absorbed lightly, and it can't be shrugged off. Her catalogue, though slim - a mere two solo albums, and contributions to the Out Lines project - has an extraordinary sense of power, a sense of personal revelation amid exquisite artistry. Recorded in a flurry of intimate takes in Lomond Campbell's Highland studio, 'for you who are wronged' is, even by her own stunning standards, a triumph.