‘Still a Real World’ by Joanne Rand - ‘incredible aural illustrations’(November 24, 2014)
Some albums always remain with you, something about them endures long after the music fades. They become albums you always return to - one example for me is ‘Snake Oil & Hummingbirds’ by Joanne Rand. And now there’s another, her latest release ‘Still a Real World’, somewhere along the way her music gained the description ‘psychedelic-folk-revival’, slightly contrived but a fair assessment. However, to my ears the words brought to life by a unique voice, take on a theatrical vivacity that draws you into their illustrations. Joanne’s voice gives form and figure to the characters, events and places she describes. More than psychedelic, these narratives are images given breath, given life; they are ‘incredibel aural illustrations’.
Listening to ‘Still a Real World’ is like roving through a gallery filled with paintings that ‘talk’ to you. The tour begins with the power, insistence and practical guidance of ‘Vizualize Your Way In’, continues through the supremely evocative and intricately lyrical ‘Mr. Einstein’, before the stark declaration and refusal of ‘Real World’ and essential involvement of ‘Greyhound Rapture’ utterly mesmerize. A few more steps lead you into the agonising grief of ‘Fall of the Kiowa’, a call to understanding with ‘All I Got To Say’ and with ‘Mortified by My Mother’ a fervent depiction of a child’s horrified awkwardness. Add a spectacular rendition of Sandy Denny’s ‘Who Knows Where the Time Goes’ and your trip through a heady mixture of illustrations in song is complete.
‘Still a Real World is the work of Joanne Rand (vocals, guitar, piano, harmonium, percussion, whistle) featuring Jenny Sheinman (violin, octave violin) Tim Randles (piano, bass, synth, harmony vocals) Tim Gray (percussion) Robert Franklin and Piet Dalmolen (electric guitars) and Alberto Attanasio (peyote chanting).
Find ‘Still a Real World’ and Joanne Rand here: www.joannerandmusic.com
Reviewer: Tim Carroll