Celebrating a decade of continuous critical acclaim and international success, Joan As Police Woman returns, this time working alongside fellow Brooklynite, Benjamin Lazar Davis.
They will be releasing their album Let It Be You on Oct 21 via Reveal Records/BFD*/RED Distribution.
A deeply soulful artist, Joan As Police Woman (Joan Wasser) has famously worked with Antony (Anohni), Rufus Wainwright, Lou Reed and David Sylvian. She recently performed at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Tribute to Lou Reed. Benjamin is a talented multi-instrumentalist who currently performs with Okkervil River, Cuddle Magic and Bridget Kearney (Lake Street Dive). Joan and Ben met each other after separate trips to Africa; Ethiopia for Joan as part of Damon Albarn’s Africa Express, and West Africa for Lazar to study traditional music. They initially bonded over Central African Republic Pygmy musical patterns and wrote this album together loosely inspired by this music. The band recently performed at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival.
Previously going by the band name ‘2001’ the duo released a pair of partner videos featuring Fred Armisen (SNL, Portlandia); one for the song “Overloaded” with Ben on lead vocals and “Broke Me In Two” featuring Joan on lead. Both directed by Benjamin Gregory, the video for “Overloaded” features Joan and Ben as mechanics fixing Armisen’s car, while “Broke Me In Two” flips Armisen to the mechanic role with Joan and Ben cruising around town.
“Overloaded is one of the first songs we wrote together,” Joan explains. “From conception to final song, took only a couple of hours. In rehearsals we had been jamming on this riff together called “Hindewho” by Mbuti Peoples of Central African Republic (which is a duet using just a single note flute and voice). You can maybe hear that melody, it was certainly an influence for our song. Elsewhere on the “Let It Be You” record you might hear the influence of Ba Benzele Pygmies, especially on our loops and the complex rhythmic guitars. We tweak natural acoustic sounds and chop them up digitally and bit crush the electrics to make this new palette of sounds. As with “Broke Me In Two” we asked our comedian/musician friend Fred Armisen to appear in the music video, pretty much everything that comes out of his mouth is smart and funny but he plays it straighter here. We are looking forward to getting out and playing shows and for people to hear the record.”
The band will be touring Europe in November and December. Performing with a full band, Joan As Police Woman and Benjamin Lazar Davis will showcase songs from the new album and re-imagine landmark recordings from her four previous Joan As Police Woman albums (Real Life, To Survive, The Deep Field, The Classic). Click HERE
for a full list of dates.