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Joan As Police Woman

Described by Joan Wasser as "punk rock R&B" and "American soul music," Joan as Police Woman combine two of the biggest influences on her music: classic soul such as Al Green and Nina Simone and the rougher experimental sounds of Sonic Youth and Bad Brains. The mix never sounds contrived, thanks to the intuitive interplay of Wasser's vocals, violins, and guitar, Rainy Orteca's bass, and Ben Perowsky's percussion in the first version of the group. Later, Wasser employed a varied cast of collaborators.

Wasser, who has played with everyone from the Scissor Sisters to Lou Reed, began playing violin at age eight while attending grade school in Norwalk, Connecticut. At Boston University, she studied violin with Yuri Mazurkevich and also played with the Boston University Symphony Orchestra, and expanded her horizons to rock with local acts including Hot Trix (which featured Autoclave member and Helium founder Mary Timony) and the Dambuilders, which went on to national success. Wasser also played with Timony and Shudder to Think's Nathan Larson in Mind Science of the Mind, which released their self-titled album in 1996. The following year, the Dambuilders disbanded and Wasser's boyfriend, Jeff Buckley, accidentally drowned in Memphis, Tennessee. Wasser kept on making music, collaborating with the Grifters' Dave Shouse and Buckley's former guitarist Michael Tighe in Those B**tard Souls in the late '90s, and then with Tighe in Black Beetle, which folded in the early 2000s.

Along with working as a violinist for hire with artists as diverse as Sheryl Crow, Hal Willner, Rufus Wainwright, and Antony and the Johnsons, Wasser developed her own songwriting, and formed Joan as Police Woman in 2002. The band released its first single, My Gurl, early in 2003, and self-released the Joan as Police Woman EP in 2004. Joan as Police Woman signed to the British label Reveal, which issued their full-length debut, Real Life, in summer 2006, along with the Eternal Flame, Christobel, and The Ride singles. Real Life was released in the U.S. in summer 2007. To Survive, which featured a cameo by Rufus Wainwright, followed in 2008. For 2011's The Deep Field, Wasser reteamed with Bryce Goggin, co-producer of Real Life, and took a happier, more upbeat approach. This uplifting feeling continued on 2014's The Classic, which channeled the feel of vintage soul albums in its often-joyous songs. ~ Heather Phares
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Classic

1. Witness

2. Holy City

3. The Classic

4. Good Together

5. Get Direct

6. What Would You Do

7. New Year's Day

8. Shame

9. Stay

10. Ask Me

x

Track List: To Survive

1. Honor Wishes

2. Holiday

3. To Be Loved

4. To Be Lonely

5. Magpies

6. Start Of My Heart

7. Hard White Wall

8. Furious

9. To Survive

10. To America

x

Track List: Real Life

1. Real Life

2. Eternal Flame

3. Feed The Light

4. The Ride

5. I Defy

6. Flushed Chest

7. Christobel

8. Save Me

9. Anyone

10. We Don't Own It

x

Track List: Joan As Police Woman

1. My gurl

2. Prime Mover

4. Game Of Life

5. How Come You´re So Solid Gold?

x

Track List: The Deep Field

1. Nervous

2. The Magic

3. The Action Man

4. Flash

5. Run For Love

6. Human Condition

7. Kiss The Specifics

8. Chemmie

9. Forever And A Year

10. I Was Everyone

Comments

Report as inappropriate
dawnalbat
to be loved is an amazing song!
Report as inappropriate
Fav female artist....su c h lush sounds....ke e p it coming
Report as inappropriate
JAPW - still my no. 1 favourite artist / performer! :) her songs come on and my heart automaticall y skips a beat with adoration... thank you Joan for giving me something real to believe in! xxx
Report as inappropriate
Her voice is very soothing, and I really like her lyrics.
Report as inappropriate
I must have everything she's done.

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