Allison Closner, Meegan Closner and Natalie Schepman perform as Joseph, a tightly harmonizing sister act in the vein of First Aid Kit, Lily & Madeleine and others. On their debut album, last year's I'm Alone, No You're Not, they perform with a spirit of forcefulness — a willingness to balance shimmery prettiness with fist-pumping power.
Joseph's new EP, Stay Awake, mixes new songs, reworked originals and two covers: The Rolling Stones' "Moonlight Mile" and Tears For Fears' "Everybody Wants To Rule The World." At first, the latter seems to be little more than an exercise in willowy sweetness, but Joseph clearly and pointedly turns a spotlight to the original's words — even adding a few of their own for good measure. ("Make the most of freedom and pleasure / All I know is take care of each other / An open door, a seat at the table, there's enough to go around.")
"When we were recently reminded of [the song], it hit us how pertinent it is today, even though it was written in the '80s," Schepman writes via email. "In all honesty, it feels like the house is falling down around us, but the lyric 'holding hands while the walls come tumbling down' resounds in our minds. We hope that our music can be a force of togetherness when it seems like everything's trying to divide us."
Stay Awake is out now via ATO.