Joana And The Wolf are a London four piece fronted by Lithuanian singer-songwriter Joana Glaza, so says their PR and who am I to argue. The band seem to have been around for a while but are new to me, just this week, seemingly back from hiatus, but with a single coming out early May what better time to introduce yourself to Joana and her canidae ...
I'm not sure if the name is inspired by Peter and the Wolf, I guess it must have come up before but it's an apt comparison as a recurring theme throughout the tracks I've been hooked on this past few days are animals, nature and the spiritual world, A fantasy world Red Riding Hood on acid perhaps.
A single 'Hide Me' is out early next month, "Hide Me" has got real bite, a scratching guitar line all carried by Joana's voice, oscillating between powerful and seductive whispers, then "Vagabond Song" a gorgeous earthy, ethereal number which the brief three lines I've just written do no justice (listen to both below). Going back over the older material (new to me) was a revelation, starting with "Natural Born Killer", an utterly bonkers and brilliant track, for the second time in a week a music video has had me evoking imagery of living in The Wicker Man, continual writhing with the hands, general oddness, over-long stares and err, apples. All I'm missing is the maypole and then I'm ready to be carted off to a giant statue and burnt alive. Perhaps not, it's completely enchanting anyway.
"Demon's Bride" (unsurprisingly) is dark and ghostly, starting with melancholic piano it reminds me of Soap&Skin with it's unsettling atmosphere which provides temporary calm as the track gradually builds up to a climax of shimmery guitars, precise drums and banshee-wails.
The best though is "Entertainer" a seven minute song that's just too bloody good for words, I'm not sure if it's released or not, certainly couldn't find anything but you can stream it on facebook, link above.
I've been watching some fantastic live videos on YouTube the past few days and they really show off Joana as a fantastic lead, a mixture of Natasha Khan and Siobhan Fahey, it's pretty breathtaking whatever influences you may draw from her performances, a phenomenal stage presence and a staggering vocal range, one moment an ethereal goddess, the next a howling (sorry) rage.
Straight onto the must see live list goes Joana and the Wolf then, unfortunately (for me) their next gig I cannot make, the single launch for Hide Me is 11th May at Favela Chic.
Joana And The Wolf - Hide Me
Joana And The Wolf - Vagabond Song