What if I’m more?, questions indie-pop JOSEPH in new single “The Sun”. Their second single of the year, the track gives us another glimpse into what we can expect from the sister trio’s upcoming album, also named The Sun. With an accompanying music video, the title track tells the story of realising your full potential after ending a relationship that made you shrink.
After testing out the song for live audiences while on tour with The Shins, JOSEPH worked with producer Leggy Langdon to evoke the celebration that the song represents. Mission accomplished. While the lyrics are potent, honest, and at times serious, the sound is free and light. This combination creates a sort of euphoria that lingers long after the song is over. And, as the three sisters dance around the music video, it’s hard not to join in.
The ultimate summer song reflects the greater meaning of the album as a whole: getting rid of what makes you feel less than and embracing your inner strength. It feels like shaking off the weight of self-doubt and standing up a little taller without it.
We talk to Natalie of JOSEPH about the sisters’ early influences, singles, The Sun, and finding a balance between their professional and personal lives.
Watch the video…
And now for the interview…
Hey JOSEPH! Where are we speaking to you from?
Hi! Natalie here. I’m writing you from my new room in LA and it’s still a liiiittle bit light outside. 🙂
What did you guys eat for breakfast?
I had reheated soup I made from last night. A very easy recipe of beans, tomatoes, and protein plus kale in a chicken broth. Pretty good!
What are some artists on your current rotation?
Have you heard this new single called Dive from Oliva Dean? I love it. And I’m currently on a steady diet of Jake Wesley Rogers… magic.
Are there any artists or bands that you listened to growing up that have influenced your sound?
OOH! Absolutely. I remember our cousin showing me The Chicks and Christina Aguilera and Destiny’s Child and being mesmerized and wanting to learn to harmonize. Meeg and Al are four years younger and listened to a lot of 2000’s country so Rascall Flatts was a big influence and when I came home from college once I heard them singing along to the big run in the bridge of “Here Comes Goodbye” it was first time I really knew they could do what they do.
Do you remember the first song you made? Did you play it for anyone?
Oh god. Yes. Absolutely. I was in piano lessons and had made up my own little instrumental song so as the attention-seeking child I was I played it for anyone and everyone who came over to the house. The first songs we did as the three of us though were really special because I could immediately feel how WOW it felt and I knew I’d need to convince my sisters this was something worth chasing.
What’s the process like to create as siblings? Do you have a boundary between being JOSEPH, and just being sisters?
What a beautiful question. How much time do you have and how dimly lit is the bar we’re having this conversation in? No, I love talking about this. Because as my ingrained role as the oldest and with certain other specificities of my personality I can certainly be all business and totally be blind to the actual incredible fact that we happen to be family. I sometimes forget to ask Meeg and Al a simple “how are you?” because my head is spinning with the details of this engine we’re trying to keep running. But ultimately, all these memories are things we’ll have forever and everything we do is really just extra compared to the fact that we have each other. Yeah to be honest, I’ve lost sight of that at times, but I’m really proud to say we’ve all put a lot of care into being close, to not taking it for granted, and be present with the amazing truth that we’re in it together.
What can you tell us about your upcoming album The Sun?
It soars. It settles in. It glows… sometimes gently and other times with so much brightness and energy. It’s a story of finding each of our more-ness. Breaking through the moments where we let ourselves be limited and stepping fully into emanating.
How does this new album evolve the already established, sound?
I think the themes of things we were working out on other projects really find a level of completion in this – sense of worth, sense of being enough (more, really) and self regulation and self resourcing in relationships. I think the sonic aspect relinquishes any attempt at strategy and just takes off.
The track “Nervous System” was the first single to be released from the project. Why this one?
Funny you should ask! The three of us didn’t have this in mind but when our team suggested it, it made more and more sense. To start off with the idea of taking care of yourself and holding yourself through the stress and panic that can come with everyday life… to reach within and look for ways you can give yourself compassion and care… that’s the beginning.
Could you talk us through the conceptualisation of the titular track “The Sun”?
Mm, it’s a special one. We’ve never written a song the way we wrote this one. Our friend and collaborator (who is one of our favourites) Trent Dabbs – we wrote “Green Eyes”, “Side Effects”, and “Room For You” with him – sent over an instrumental chord progression and melody. So the three of us sisters, being in different places during the pandemic, got on a zoom to work out the lyrics. It became quickly clear that this song was about the different ways each of us have overcome limiting factors in our lives, mainly through Meegan’s story. When the final line of the chorus came – “thought I was the light switch you turned on, but I am the sun” I remember feeling the ever evasive but constantly sought-after bullseye feeling of THAT’S IT.
What do you want people to take away from this album?
Hopefully anyone listening to this will consider sloughing off anything or anyone making them think they’re less than they are.
Lastly, where do you see yourselves headed? After the album is out, what’s next?
We are so excited to play these songs live with our band. We’ve been putting the show together for this upcoming tour and it’s going to be so good. Wow we’re excited! It will be an opportunity to really immerse ourselves (audience very much included) in our feelings and move through old things and into newness. Very very excited to play live! As always, we’re just headed toward making more music and sharing it with people who can relate.