Tuesday, August 20, 2013
The Just Joans - 6.9 Love Songs
Motherwell, Scotland's The Just Joans are a witty, artistically adventuresome lot. Their 2012 album, which made my top 50 albums for the year, was comprised of eleven connected coming of age tales. Their new EP, 6.9 Love Songs is designed to be the soundtrack for a fictitious documentary by Scottish filmmaker Bill Forsyth about The Magnetic Fields (who created the excellent, and massive, album 69 Love Songs) stranding frontman Stephen Merritt drunk on the road. Overcome with the spirit of concision, The Just Joans manged to cover their topics in 6.9 songs. And it is excellent summer fare -- love (and non-love) songs delivered with sardonic wit and, in most cases, a light touch. Featuring male and female vocals (the former with a pronounced Scottish accent), brass, strummed guitars and various percussion, the melodies stick with you and it may only take one listen to prompt a sing along (my wife doesn't necessarily consider that a plus if we are in the same room, but she otherwise likes the album).
The track listing is as follows: 1. Winter's on its way; 2. Man of your dreams; 3. Kiss and break up; 4. Are you dancin'?; 5. Some boys are bigger than others; 6. Durex Puppy; and 6.9. Another song about the rain. The first track has a light feel with female vocals. The following "Man of Your Dreams" isn't what it seems, as the narrator states that he isn't the man of your dreams, but is a pain in your arse. The third track turns an old saying on its head by suggesting that you kiss and break up. "Are you dancin'?" is a lovely, melancholy waltz. There are no streams available to embed at this time, but you can listen to track five, "Some Boys Are Bigger Than Others", here. All I'll say about it is that it combines the advice that you'd have more fun if you were single with the refrain that some boys are bigger than others. As for the sixth track, yes indeed, it likely is the only song you'll hear this summer named after a dog created by inflated condoms. The final track is as lovely a song as I've heard this year. Of course, here in Seattle we know rain.
The Just Joans are David, Katie, Chris, Allan, Doog, and Fraser. 6.9 Love Songs is out now on WeePOP! Records in a limited run of 200 CDRs.