It must be the silly season. The 1980’s one hit wonder Department S and their song ‘Is Vic there?‘ popped into my head when I was reading the media circular about folk-pop chanteuse Joana Serrat, for no other reason than that she comes from a place called Vic near Barcelona. Well, like Bill Bryson’s Des Moines, Iowa – someone has to I suppose.
Joana hasn’t featured on TMB before, although she might have gone unnoticed at Barcelona’s Primavera festival, which is just down the road for her as she played there on a couple of occasions including this June, when she was signed to Loose Music as a result.
This song, ‘Cloudy Heart’, is from her third album Cross the Verge, which was released in 2016. The album tackles the cracks, inconsistencies and fears that come with life, and is a tribute to the acknowledgement of loss and the acceptance of the uncertain. Cloudy Heart has a pop feel to it but she writes and sings in several styles, with Americana prominent.
The album was recorded in Montreal with the support of, amongst others, Basia Bulat, who has featured in TMB this year. And while Arcade Fire are trumpeting a 2017 return to the European festival scene she was produced by Howard Bilerman, whom aficionados of that band may recall from the early days. He played guitar and drums on Funeral in 2004. It’s hardly surprising that so many musicians head to Montreal; you never know who you’re going to bump into.
Joana has gained many admirers recently and has been likened to Joanna Newsom.
She returns to the UK this month for a seven-city headline tour, the venues and dates are below. After that she tours northern Europe, mainly supporting the Handsome Family.
24 Jan – NOTTINGHAM, The Poppy and Pint
25 Jan – LONDON, The Islington
26 Jan – EXETER, Phoenix
27 Jan – BEXHILL, Albatross Club
28 Jan – MANCHESTER, Fred’s Ale House
29 Jan – NEWCASTLE, The Cluny 2
30 Jan – GLASGOW, Broadcast (Celtic Connections)