KATHRYN JOSEPH – ” for you who are the wronged “

Posted: December 7, 2022 in MUSIC

Kathryn Joseph’s songs often tread a fine line between comforting and chilling, which is an astonishingly difficult thing to pull off. On her Lomond Campbell-produced third album, “for you who are the wronged”, her aim was more in the direction of comfort but there’s still a spine-tingling strangeness to it that’s undeniably arresting.

This is an album about abuse and survival, but the stories here are largely not her own. Assuming the role of observer, these songs are Joseph’s way of trying to make sense of the violations she sees being imposed on those she loves, and how she might, with care, give them something to latch onto. At its core is a smouldering fury, which Joseph keeps mostly under or just at the surface. Erupting would be too easy.

When she does bare her teeth, as on “what is keeping you alive makes me want to kill them for” and the sinister highlight “the burning of us all”, it’s done with love and loyalty. There’s even room for hope in places. Joseph wants to open doors with these songs, or at least to signpost where they stand. Concluding with the cryptic, glitchy “long gone”, which ends abruptly as if shutting something behind, the hope is that, one day, the exit is found. 

Kathryn Joseph released her stunning third album “for you who are the wronged” in April. Her haunting single is ‘what is keeping you alive makes me want to kill them for’. Watch the video below, it’s a startling song quivering with Joseph’s quiet rage, above sparse brittle keyboard motifs that mirrors the work of Cat Power or Portishead.

Always intense, insular and eerily pretty, the work of Scottish songwriter Kathryn Joseph may require a focused, sit-down listen to truly appreciate, but the payoff is worth it. Her third album “for you who are the wronged” is no exception, using mostly keyboards, minimal ambient percussion and the gentle warble of Joseph’s voice to toe the line between the harrowing and the sweet with ease. For all of the horrors she pulls out and condemns on songs like singles “what is keeping you alive makes me want to kill them for” and “the burning of us all,” there is also obvious love pouring from every note, letting the listener find comfort in Joseph’s creation even as the world seems to silently burn down as each track starts. “When the teeth sink in your skin / I’ll suck the poison out,” she promises on sinister-sounding lullaby “flesh and blood,” wrapping those left vulnerable up into the fabric of her work, letting them hear their experiences reflected in her thoughtful, intricate songwriting.

released April 22nd, 2022

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