Big Joanie: Back Home [Album Review]

Big Joanie
Back Home
Kill Rock Stars [2022]

It has been four years since the debut album from Black feminist punk band Big Joanie. The UK trio of Estella Adeyeri, Stephanie Phillips, and Chardine Taylor-Stone had a solid post-punk direction but now have branched out into new sound territories on their sophomore album, Back Home. While guitars, bass and drums were essential components on Sistahs, Back Home thrives with an infusion of synths, strings and indie rock hooks.

This more artistic approach to song delivery showcases Big Joanie’s depth and growth as a band. The harmonies during “Confident Man” are incredibly rich as in other places the layered vocals bounce you back n forth like during “In My Arms.” The group goes all out rock during the exploding “Happier Still” but then finds a synth-pop groove on closer “Sainted.” All of these risks on Back Home work and create a record that you will find something new with every spin.

What I really like about Back Home is how it builds on the band’s early punk formula and blows out its boundaries which now includes old school girl group harmonies, new wave swirls and catchy power choruses that bring to mind groups like The Breeders and Sleater-Kinney. Big Joanie truly tap into a multitude of genres with elegance as the trio always surprises you where they go next. That edge of your seat listen is the core of their appeal and you really get the sense that this is only a first step to how far they can take it!

“Taut” / “In My Arms” / “Happier Still”

Sleater-Kinney / The Breeders / TV On The Radio

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Thomas Wilde

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