Daily Distraction: Listen to new music from Joan Armatrading
The criminally overlooked British songwriter is back with a new album and a new single, 'Already There'
On Sunday, Pitchfork writer Jenn Pelly wrote a beautiful archival review of British singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading's 1976 self-titled album. It's less of a review, actually, and more of a career-spanning feature on an artist who has done her own thing from the get-go, and has never quite got the accolades she deserved.
"She had started writing songs on a pawn shop acoustic guitar and the neglected household piano in her mid-teens," Pelly writes. "Her inquisitive vision of folk-rock was tinged with the music she grew up around—jazz and soul, gospel and rock’n’roll, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding—especially in the depth of her smoky alto, which voiced the highest heavenly feeling of love as well as its lowest void. Like her idol, Van Morrison—still one of the few influences she’ll point to—her songs have unconventional structures, whether raving up into fiery epiphanies or floating on daydreams. Armatrading didn’t so much bring a Black British identity to the ’70s singer-songwriter tradition as offer proof that a Black British woman played an active role in its creation."
Armatrading is still out there, still writing, still singing, and she has a new album, Consequences, coming out on June 18 (physical release on Aug. 13). Today she shared the first single from the record, "Already There," which you can listen to below.