Analogue Music | Joseph - Good Luck, Kid
Joseph: Good Luck, Kid

Joseph: Good Luck, Kid

Artist: Joseph · Written by Matt Conner

Date Released

13 September, 2019



If you're willing to give Joseph just a minute of your time—well, it won't even take that long to get hooked.

Forty five seconds into the opening track, "Fighter," on their newest album, Good Luck, Kid (ATO), is all it took to startle me back into restarting the album. Did I click on the right track?

It wasn't that Joseph's latest sounded like a disparate reach, some abrupt about-face from where they've been. Rather, a further lean into "Fighter" that the sisters—Natalie Schepman, Allison Closner, Meegan Closner—had so clearly pulled off that most difficult of balancing acts: they'd recorded an album that preserved what they did best yet simultaneously broadened their musical horizons.

If you're new to Joseph, let me interject. Five years ago, three sisters from Portland, Oregon released a stunning nine-song collection, Native, Dreamer, Kin. Heavenly harmonies converged within smart acoustic constructs and they quickly gained attention in the Pacific Northwest, which led to a record deal with ATO Records. In 2016, their beautiful label debut, I'm Alone, No You're Not, delivered more folk-pop songs that earned comps to First Aid Kit and garnered late night TV appearances and much bigger tours.

Back to the first forty-five seconds. That's how long it takes to figure out the girls in Joseph aren't messing around. "Fighter" is possessed by an arena-ready energy, and it's unlike anything the siblings have previously released. The newfound rock influence impressively bleeds onto several tracks from there—a welcome and confident change of direction that signals their readiness for the mainstream.

Longtime fans might sneer at that mainstream idea, but there's nothing lost in the music here at all. Rather, it would be a welcome injection into pop culture's bloodstream to have such a brilliant pop/rock release find as many ears as possible. The impeccable vocal work and harmonies on "Revolving Door," the electric burn of "Presence," the pulsing pop prowess of the title track, the straightforward mid-tempo magic known as "NYE"—they all call for and deserve mass appeal.

"Don't leave me in the dark" is the oft-repeated plea on the album's opening track, but at this point, the request is not even relevant. The only question will be how much brighter the spotlight will get for a trio that deserves the largest of platforms.