- Words Notion Staff
Returning after a two year hiatus, sister trio JOSEPH discuss their brand-new single “Nervous System”, self-growth and upcoming projects.
JOSEPH are stepping into 2023 with a positive mindset. Making their highly-anticipated comeback, the group have returned with a brand new perspective in alignment with their fourth studio album, ‘The Sun’, and are ready to celebrate being their own lifelines. Currently on a journey of self-healing, JOSEPH discuss bouncing back with a fresh new sound, an extensive tour around America, and how they harnessed healthier relationships with themselves.
“Nervous System” is shared as their first release in two years, an introspective track marking the beginnings of a new musical chapter. Inspired by their personal experiences with therapy, the single is accompanied by a vibrant music video directed by Vanessa Pla. Co-written with Tayla Parx (Ariana Grande) and Wynne Bennett (HAIM, Janelle Monae), throughout this release the group perfectly make their shift into indie-pop.
Ready to wear their hearts on their sleeve, the sisters are uniting like never before. Exploring the true depths of anxiety and the peer pressures of living up to unrealistic standards, the group are all about transparency this time round, and ready to embark on their most earnest project yet. Their forthcoming album ‘The Sun’ track lists 10 emotionally raw singles and are driven by the group’s hypnotic harmonies, sonic melodies, and relatable lyrics.
We spoke to JOSEPH about the meaning behind their brand-new single “Nervous System”, overcoming self-deprecating anxieties, and what to expect on their forthcoming album. Take a read.
Hey JOSEPH. How are you all and how’s 2023 been for you so far?
We are thriving. So thrilled to finally be releasing songs from our upcoming album. Also, we are getting into TikTok for the first time which is a wild ride.
Your fourth album, ‘The Sun’, is set to come out in April. Congratulations. You’ve mentioned that you take a new direction on this one, what influenced the change in sound?
In discovering the sonic direction we usually take it song by song, feeling out what sounds and textures suit each one. Then in the process we zoom out from the painting and see how it all fits together. A lot of these songs have an inherent buoyancy that you’ll hear reflected in the choices we made in the production.
In making the record, you’ve had a more hands-on approach to the production process. How was this experience for you and how do you think it helped to implement a new sound?
I think it’s a matter of experience at this point, since this is our fourth full length studio album. We had a stronger idea of what sounds we wanted to hear and there were distinct moments where we held strong to what we liked versus someone else’s opinion. I can hear that resolve and certainty when I listen back to the record.
“Nervous System” is the first single off the record, it came out at the end of January and has a strong message of self-love and compassion. How can people love and tend to themselves more in 2023?
Listening. A great start is taking a second to tune in and listen to ourselves. From there it can look different for everyone but taking a breath and asking ourselves what we might need in moments of stress or discomfort is the beginning of the process. Each of the three of us had a chance to do some talk therapy these last couple of years to work on healing negative patterns and we gained so many tools to respond differently.
Allie learned so much from a program called ‘Panic Free TV and I’, Natalie learned a lot from somatic experience work which approaches therapy through the nervous system. These things have been so helpful to us but even something as simple as taking a walk, deepening your breathing, or for some people taking medication are some of the many ways we can tend to ourselves. But it starts with noticing you need something and being kind to yourself to find out what that is.
What about this song made you want to release it as the lead single from the album? It feels more anthemic than previous releases.
It was a group effort between us and our team to decide which one to come first because we love all of our singles and it was hard to choose. Ultimately though, we wanted to lead with a brand new song our audience hadn’t heard yet (we’d been playing two of the others on tour this last year) and we wanted to introduce people to the album with a spirit of believing in ourselves and our audience’s abilities to contend with the emotional tumult that can overwhelm us.
From April to July you’ll be on an extensive tour of America. What can fans expect and what excites you about getting back on the road?
We are absolutely thrilled to be back on the road. The people who come to JOSEPH shows are truly incredible and being in the same room to share music is such a gift. The tour will be one you can really move around to and feel the sonic bigness of the songs. As always there will be stripped-back moments of just the three of us where it’s all about the voices and harmonies.
You must be seasoned tourers by now. Are there any cities that particularly standout? Or invoke nice memories from previous travels?
Well we always love coming to the UK. Everyone there has been so supportive and warm. In the states here we have fantastic audiences everywhere but Minneapolis and Chicago always stand out as the loudest and most enthusiastic crowds!
For any readers who ever find themselves in your hometown of Portland, where would you recommend that they go to live out the perfect day in the city? Are there any spots that resonate with you?
Oh my goodness, what a fantastic question. I’d say find an Airbnb or hotel in southeast Portland, and start the day with a walk to coffee. Stumptown is always a hole-in-one. Barista, Heart, and Coava are the other standouts. Then go for a hike in Forest Park or go for a little shopping trip – there’s a very cute boutique next to Heart on Burnside that I like and it’s across the street from a lovely little art gallery called Nationale.
My favourite store is on Division called Artifact – there are fantastic finds that are very reasonably priced. If you’re looking for a little relaxation instead and you have a bit more cash to burn I’d do a soak and massage at Knot Springs. I also love Bar Norman and Ardor for natural wines. Basically anywhere you go is going to have a great beer selection. For dinner, if you want something a bit fancier and truly delicious I’d say check out Shalom, Y’all, Cafe Olli, Gumba to name a few. Then see a show at the Doug Fir or Mississippi Studios and go out somewhere nearby.
Whilst growing up in Portland Natalie, you were a solo artist before persuading your twin sisters to form the band together. When was the moment that all three of you felt part of a coherent group that you had equal ownership of creatively?
Ooh, what a nice question. I think I realised that as the older sister and the person who started the band, it would have been easy to fall into very expected defined roles but from the start, Meegan and Allie were very intentional about having that ownership in it and that has only gotten stronger through the years.
To wrap up, although you’re collectively going on tour and releasing a new album in April, is there anything that you would like to individually achieve this year?
In general, I think we’re all focused on using our therapy tools for self-regulation and really making choices that prioritize joy and peace. Also, more specifically we’re in a book club as a family where each person picked one book that ‘changed the way you think’ and one that was recommended to each of us by someone we respect so we’re looking forward to reading through that list.