Meet Perth's Joan & the Giants, who tease a new EP with Wolves
After collaborating with fellow Perth break-outs Feels, the group are back with something new of their own.
A couple of months ago, we were introduced to Joan & The Giants frontwoman Grace Newton-Wordsworth via Circles, a Pilerats-premiered track from Feels that featured her hazy and haunting guest vocal above that signature Feels percussion. "Circles is a song notably darker when compared to the rest of Feels' discography thus far, utilising moodier synth work as they work alongside Grace's haunting vocal which broods with this confident, but dark edge - something people are finding attractive in names such as Billie Eilish," we said on her guest vocal when the track arrived, while Feels were quick to throw a tonne of support behind Grace themselves. "We had so much fun recording this in the studio with Grace. We are exploring a darker side to Feels at the moment and Grace’s haunting vocal tone was a perfect fit for the track," they said.
Skip forward a few months and with a new single, Wolves, we're able to give Joan & The Giants a proper introduction - a long-awaited and long-overdue introduction, that is. After Hold Me and Cruel earlier this year, Wolves is a single that showcases what to expect from Joan & The Giants as they work closely together as a group and evolve in the process (they only formed at the start of this year), welcoming a darker side to the group as their sound edges into a new direction thanks to a darker, haunting underlay. "Wolves has a dark and haunting underlying tone, layered with a sense of hope," Grace agrees, before further explaining the single's theme. "This song was written at a challenging time in our lives, a time filled with toxicity and suffocating relationships. We wrote Wolves as a way of healing, and as a way of freeing ourselves from this emotionally abusive place. Our main hope for this song is that it brings that same sense of healing to whoever listens to it."
There's a lot more to come, including a debut EP expected in the months ahead. In the meantime, however, dive into Wolves below and better introduce yourself to the Joan & The Giants while you're at it.
Tell us about yourselves?
We are four people who love writing lyrically driven, emotionally fuelled and powerfully produced music. We’re also very passionate about creating safe and inclusive spaces at our shows, and it’s important to us to make people feel warm, welcomed and loved. After playing in various bands over the last few years, in 2019 we wanted to create something new that represented all of our musical visions, so together we decided to form ‘Joan & The Giants’.
We have come together from all over WA, I (Grace - singer, songwriter) am from an organic farm down South of Perth, Aaron (guitarist, songwriter) is from a remote Indigenous community out of Broome, and Riley (drummer) and Liam (bassist) are from here in Perth. Aaron and I originally met a few years back when they were pushed into a room to play a song together by a mutual friend, it was a very awkward first encounter but something special must have stuck, as we managed to fall in love and have been writing music together ever since. Even when Aaron went home for quite a while, I remember talking on the phone every night writing lyrics, and melodies and having long conversations about our dreams of playing music professionally one day, and we’ve been working towards that ever since. We were stoked to have met our wonderful drummer and bassist here in Perth, I think we work really well as a group. - Grace
What’s the vibe music-wise?
I think our theme in this band is kind of like sad hope. We write very personal, emotional songs, with the main emphasis being on expressing what’s inside. The music is created as a vehicle to bring out and expand the emotion of the songs. If we’re talking genre, it’s rooted in alt-pop but reaches far wider, with influences drawn from stadium rock, folk and blues. - Aaron
What are your production and writing processes like?
We’re always writing new ideas, which could stem from coming up with a riff on guitar or Grace singing a vocal melody acapella or over keys. Most nights I sit up late on GarageBand trying to come up with new ideas and new songs. We take those ideas and bring them into the band rehearsal and jam them a few times. Sometimes parts change, sometimes it’s the exact same as the demo version, but we all get to have a say and share our opinions. We really go for what works best for the song, without any egos getting in the way, which is so great. - Aaron
When it comes to writing lyrics and melodies for our songs, that often happens all in one sitting, which is like a wave that washes over you, or it might take some time and deep thought. We’ve been very inspired by human emotions, as we all go through so much in our daily lives and relationships. It can be overwhelming being human, and I love capturing some of these emotions in a song, and watching it connect with others. This connection is so special. - Grace
Can you tell us about your new single, Wolves?
Wolves has a dark and haunting underlying tone, layered with a sense of hope. This song was written at a challenging time in our lives, a time filled with toxicity and suffocating relationships. We wrote Wolves as a way of healing, and as a way of freeing ourselves from this emotionally abusive place. Our main hope for this song is that it brings that same sense of healing to whoever listens to it. - Grace
We wanted to be experimental with the use of samples in the song, you can hear wolves howling throughout the track, there are hurricane wind sounds and other ghostly noises. We really wanted to push the boundaries and challenge ourselves to expand our creativity. - Aaron
Any tour dates coming up?
We are embarking on a Wolves WA Tour, kicking things off with our single launch at Mojo’s Fremantle on Thursday 5th September, which is a double launch with our friends GOOD GRACE.
- Thur 5th Sept // Mojo’s Fremantle // Double Single Launch ~ Joan & The Giants // GOOD GRACE, with supports Nika Mo + Duncan Saige, featuring a local art exhibition
- Sunday 15th Sept // Broome // Headlining Shinju Matsuri Festival
- Sun 13th Oct // Gidgegannup // Gidgestock Festival
- Sun 13th Oct // Margaret River // Strings Attached Festival
- Sun 20th Oct // Esperance // Taylor St Quarters
- Wed 23rd Oct // Ronnie Nights Fremantle // An Acoustic Evening
What does the rest of 2019 have in store for you?
We’re heading back into the studio in September to record three more songs for our EP, which we’re planning to release mid-November, quite possibly with a national tour in the works. Apart from that, we’re just getting out and playing as many shows as we can with some amazing local acts. Perth is a wonderful place to be playing music right now, and it’s only getting stronger. We’re a band that loves to play a very energetic live show, so anytime we’re doing that, we’re happy. - Grace
Where can we find more of your music?
You can find us on all streaming platforms, Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp, Youtube etc.