Family bands are always an interesting experiment. I suppose the gold standard of success for those types of groups is obviously The Jackson 5. Or The Osmonds, to a lesser extent. But those families were big in the 60s and 70s and were in large-part, manufactured. My favourite, more recent bands that are comprised of members of the same family are less pop, more rock, more kick-ass, more “independent” (as much as any band can be), and composed mainly of women. One such family I was recently exposed to was Joseph.
The pacific is a hotbed for modern art, millennial musicanship, and folksy hipsters. With the three sisters that make up Joseph, you have a band that epitomizes everything that is right with modern music and the west coast in general.
Interestingly, Joseph is not the shared last of siblings Natalie, Allison, and Meegan – that would instead be Closner – rather, it is a tribute to both the town of Joseph, Oregon and to their grandfather Jo. The town itself was named after Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce People. So far, these gals are doing everything right. Two other well-known people have connections to this town of barely 1 000 people. The first is Margaret Osborne duPont, one top female tennis players of the 40s and 50s – 37 singles, doubles, and mixed doubles grand slam titles. The other is acting legend Walter Brennan, one of only three male actors to win three Academy Awards (all for best supporting actor).
But enough about this tiny Oregon town, who are these three Portland sisters who honoured it with their music? One word that comes to mind: ethereal. Out of all the west-coast bands I have listened to recently, Joseph is the most Portland. I’m not even sure I could tell you why. Just everything about their second record I’m Alone, No You’re Not, screams luscious Oregon wonderland. Well, not screams… romances.
The opening track Joseph Canyon is down-the-line folk tune with subtle rockabilly undertones the echoes through the vast wilderness of time. Spiritual, somewhat philosophical, it is an ode to our great earth. The sixth song I Don’t Mind is one my personal favourites. This soft ballad with a soft drum beat, will allow you to explore your mind for hours on end, and really open your imagination to endless possibilities. It is a dream, it is beauty. It is simply, Joseph