Joan & The Giants Wrap Up Huge Year With Two New Singles
We check in with the Boorloo-based alt-pop four-piece as they continue their rise
Joan & The Giants are going from strength to strength. For the last five years or so the quartet have honed their emotional & catchy brand of alt-indie-pop, both in the studio and on live the stage, releasing their Me & You EP in 2022 and a string of well-received singles this year and having recently showcased at Bigsound while also just wrapping up a string of support slots for local legends Eskimo Joe.
Not done with 2023 just yet, the band have landed a mammoth seven nominations for the 2023 WAM Awards set to be held on November 17, getting nods for Best Alt/Indie Act, Best Pop Act, Best Music Video (Cool Kid), Best Single (Cool Kid), Best Song Lyrics (Cool Kid), Best Vocalist (Grace Newton-Wordsworth) and Best Guitarist (Aaron Birch). The band will also be playing at the massive WAMFest on Saturday, November 18.
If that wasn’t enough, they’ve just dropped not one but two new singles - the distinct, complementary pairing of BEG and b-side Narcissist. A driving, anthemic cut of big guitar hooks, BEG is offset by the stripped back, mellow & melodic sounds of the touching b-side.
With all this going on, we caught up with Joan & The Giants frontwoman Grace Newton-Wordsworth to find out what’s been happening and what’s coming up!
Congrats on not one but two new songs - what led you to releasing a single and B side?
Thanks so much legends! It was an interesting process of deciding to release Narcissist as a B-Side. Originally it was a single, but then we recorded ‘BEG’ and got the mix back and to me it felt like a stronger indie-pop single, but I still really loved ‘Narcissist’ and wanted to release them together as the stories go hand in hand. It’s heartbreak city with these two, but with very different approaches in the sound and production.
How do BEG & Narcissist differ?
They are both lyrically centred around heartbreak and a relationship ending, but the production / sound is very different. BEG is much more polished and produced, and when it came to ‘Narcissist’, I initially wrote that on the acoustic guitar and I wanted to keep that vulnerability. Dylan, our producer, encouraged keeping it stripped back and raw and I am so glad we did as it lets the lyrics shine, and builds the song at the right pace into that big, heavier outro.
‘BEG’ was a really exciting one to record, as we booked studio time and had absolutely nothing written and I was in full panic mode haha. Dylan suggested we do a writing session a few days before recording time, and we went in and wrote a song with myself (Grace), Aaron and Dylan and it was epic as I haven’t done a lot of co-writing and it definitely got me out of my comfort zone in the best way. ‘BEG’ started out with a very soulful London Grammar synth vibe, and ended up guitar driven alternative-poppy rock and I love where we ended up with it.
Do they have any similarities?
Overall the similarity is in the story telling and particularly my way of writing lyrics. It’s very heart on sleeve, diary entry type writing which is painful as heck but gets the message across.
How are these new songs feeling on the live stage?
I am OBSESSED with playing these songs live! We just played ‘BEG’ for the first time last weekend at an Eskimo Joe show and it was really exciting getting the feel for it, and seeing the audience bop along. I love playing ‘Narcissist’ live, as it starts out super stripped back, but when it builds with the band it’s an epic heavy feeling, and I love seeing the audience get into it.
Supporting local legends Eskimo Joe must be pretty awesome - how are you approaching these sets?
We are loving supporting these WA legends! They are such an inspiring band musically for us, and watching their live show is insane, incredible, amazing, ahhhh. We are approaching the sets a little differently, and going for a more rock n roll approach. We’ve got a more upbeat, heavier set with a couple of heartfelt slow ones in between (because we can’t not play sad, slow songs).
How does it feel to be nominated for seven (SEVEN?!) WAM Awards this month?
It feels so incredible, and absolutely heartwarming! We’ve been playing hundreds of shows and just grinding around WA for the past 6-7 years, and it’s really nice to be recognised in this way. We won our first award last year, and I cried and just couldn’t believe it, so to be nominated for seven is just huge for us and we really are so grateful and overjoyed.
Most importantly, we’re just stoked to be among so many of our mates and bands that we love and have been inspired by for years now. There’s a lot of really hard working bands in Perth, and it’s great to see recognition - we have a bloody wonderful community here.
What are you most looking forward to about playing WAMFest?
WAMFest is so much fun! We’ve played it a few times, and it’s just the best going around and watching everyone’s sets and supporting WA bands! The lineup is insane, the night is gonna be so much fun and I cannot wait to play the Rechabite stage ahhh!
What’s on the horizon for Joan & The Giants in 2024?
We have a few secrets up our sleeve at the moment… Lots to be announced!
What have you all been listening to lately?
Listening to a lot of new releases from local artists like Angie Colman, King Ibis, Stacey Anne, Green Pools, Ribs, Reija Lee, Anna Shneider and so many more! We’re super excited for our launch coming up on November 24th at the Bird and having Jocelyn’s Baby, BOOX KID and Ribs on the lineup - all of these artists are very talented songwriters and we’re stoked to have them play our launch.
We all listen to different music - from Holly Humberstone, Eskimo Joe, Blink 182, Maisie Peters, Taylor Swift, MUNA, BoyGenius, Kings Of Leon, Coldplay, Alabama Shakes, Middle Kids and soooo many more.
Sat, November 18 - WAM FEST - Museum Stage, Perth (WA)
Fri, November 24 - The Bird, Perth (WA) w/ Ribs, BOOX KID and Jocelyn's Baby