The Just Joans – You Might Be Smiling Now...
The new album from The Just Joans is lyrically smart, funny, and terrifyingly relatable
The Just Joans’ distinctly Scottish take on indie pop flirts with both cloying sentimentalism and self-deprecation with light-hearted hilarity. Presented as a loose concept album, the themes initially seem self-indulgent and unoriginal: the songs detail the confusion of singer-songwriter David Pope’s teenage years, the horror of his twenties and the terror of his encroaching middle age. Indeed, stories about small town boredom and drunken romance are old-hat, but nobody quite portrays dejection and lust with as much Glaswegian charm and lewd humour as The Just Joans.
The album’s pinnacle – the 60s girl-group chamber pop of Steal the Keys (1996 Tears) – contains Katie Pope’s accented refrain which never fails to add colour and clarity. Elsewhere, the funk-tinged melody on Johnny, Have You Come Lately is brilliant and the primitive electronics of You Make Me Physically Sick sounds like they belongs on a children’s TV show, profanities in the lyric – 'And your jokes are shite' – notwithstanding.
You Might Be Smiling Now... is lyrically smart, funny, and terrifyingly relatable. The Just Joans might not be universally understood, but for those of us dealing with the grievances of getting older while simultaneously not feeling ready for adulthood, this is our affirmation.
Listen to: Steal the Keys (1996 Tears), Johnny, Have You Come Lately?