I'm Alone, No You're Not


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I'm Alone, No You're Not Review

by Timothy Monger

I'm Alone, No You're Not is the label debut of indie folk outfit Joseph, a honey-voiced trio of sisters who hail from Portland, Oregon. Singer/guitarist Natalie Closner had initially tried to make a go of it as a solo artist before recruiting younger twin sisters Allison and Meegan to form this dynamic family band who take their name from a small town in the Northeastern part of their home state. They introduced themselves with 2014's Native Dreamer Kin, a rustically modern set of tunes with a sound that bore a striking resemblance to Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit, albeit with a third harmony sweetening the mix. It's not a huge surprise then that for their ATO Records debut, they paired up with First Aid Kit's producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, She & Him) to further enhance their beguiling pop-folk appeal. The sisters' powerful voices remain at the nexus of this production, which is significantly more robust than on their self-released debut. Ultimately more pop than folk, tracks like "Canyon," "S.O.S. (Overboard)," and "White Flag" are packed with rhythmic and melodic hooks aplenty, each boasting choruses that linger after just one listen. Elsewhere, the more subdued ballads like "Planets" and "More Alive Than Dead" are still quite grand in scope, pairing the group's rich vocal blend with ambient textures to create a dreamy, lush environment. As a whole, they've made a very nice, if somewhat derivative record that isn't too dissimilar from prominent like-minded acts like Of Monsters and Men, the Lumineers, and their aforementioned Swedish counterparts. The now familiar reverb-drenched peaks and valleys that are hallmarks of contemporary indie folk are all here and while it may suit Joseph's persuasions quite well, they aren't necessarily bringing anything new to the table.

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