Utrecht based singer/songwriter Joanna Weston has been enjoying a busy and productive few years. Having toured across the UK, Netherlands, Turkey, Belgium and Germany, she has also received plenty of airplay from media outlets such as BBC Introducing, Eagle Radio and Kane FM.
The London born folk artist followed up her What Do I Do? and Pieces of the Puzzle EPs with her debut album Inside Out in 2014. The eleven track compilation wastes no time erupting into strikingly vivid vocals that dominate throughout the upbeat and enthusiastic instrumentation of “Desire”. This gets things off to a fast and absorbing start.
“Don’t Stop” is more urgent and serious, but no less energetic afterwards. Its quick and characterful melody sets a speedy pace alongside stirring strings and some exotic, riveting riffs. “What Are We Fighting For?” succeeds it with a reserved instrumental introduction ahead of mellow yet remarkably resonant vocals. The touching musical motifs join forces with the haunting harmony to a forge a cool and cutting composition.
“Little Things” is made up of a light and relaxing riff that sails towards a playful melody. It’s a wonderfully content and soothing piece that bears an uplifting attitude. The rousing rhythm of “Say So” arrives next, combining with moving strings and guitars and vivacious vocals, all of which result in an enthralling effort. “Drive” is a very spirited number in its wake, whose purposeful momentum thrills as it progresses.
The solemn instrumentation and soft vocal work of “Over and Over” carry a lot of feeling and emotion. It’s an entry that makes a forceful impact in its simplicity. “I’m Not Ok” follows as another sombre addition, whose melancholy melody hits hard while its violins are particularly affecting. From here, the torch is passed to the pensive piano keys of “I Can’t Believe” to preface a powerful harmony which persists from beginning to end.
The instrumentation of “Inside Out” seems to be simultaneously optimistic and mournful. However, the spotlight is soon stolen by its bright vocals as they reverberate emphatically through the air. These are eventually superseded by the bracing strings and merry guitars of “I Know”, which proceed to truck along cheerfully behind a vigorous melody to craft a resolute and fervent finale.
Joanna Weston’s work here is consistently pleasant and passionate, resulting in an easy and accessible collection of folk ballads. Its vibrant vocals and poignant instrumentation should find favour with a wide range of listeners.