Release Date: Dec 8, 2017
Record label: Fika Recordings
Ever believed time heals all wounds? Spiky siblings David and Katie Pope's Motherwell miserablists are back to disabuse you of that. Don't let the Joans' growth from a two-piece to a six-piece fool you: though this comeback set stretches their sonic range beyond penny-pinching efforts like 2013's 6.9 Love Songs, the Joans' emotional range remains so stalwart in opposition to romantic platitudes that it verges on the heroic. It's a pitch that counterpoints their indie classicism with a reliably tart wit, whether it's on the honeyed harmonies and acidic anti-sentiments ("It's tragic but it's true") of the Mary Chain-ish O Caledonia or the strikes at optimism's jugular of jangle-pop throwback Steal The Keys (1996 Tears).
One of the sad facts about growing older is that you can never stop thinking back on your more youthful days. Be they awkward, exciting, regretful - you'll always wish there were a way to relive them other than in memory. That's what The Just Joans have aimed for on their new album You Might Be Smiling Now…, with a collection of songs that look back on their teens and twenties with a wryness that is both cutting and earnest, but all comes straight from the heart.