Kathryn Joseph – for you who are the wronged
A quiet rage seethes on Kathryn Joseph's bewitching third album, which gives voice to the experience of living with abuse
On her first two albums, Kathryn Joseph showed a gift for containing the high drama of heartbreak inside delicate notes. Her newest record, for you who are the wronged, goes even quieter, her voice barely above a whisper and accompanied by sparse keys and understated reverb. These lullaby-like compositions mask a quiet rage throughout, reflecting the internal discord of those who live with abuse.
Joseph may be fae-like, but she doesn’t mince her words. ‘The way they make you eat the shit out of their hands’, she croons on the burning of us all, her fusion of the ethereal and corporeal finding a new potency in images of abusive love. She styles herself as a place of refuge, a kind friend who will lick her listeners’ wounds clean, even as she harbours vengeful thoughts like: ‘Makes me wanna kill them’.
More than just a sympathetic ear, Joseph offers herself up as a channel for the downtrodden. The refrain ‘I like it, I hate it all’ gives voice to the emotional entrapment of toxic relationships. ‘Are you screaming out into the dark side of your insides?’ comes as a cry of anguish, unleashing the album’s pent-up sorrow in the penultimate track.
Ever the documentarian of devastating emotions, Joseph's latest release sounds newly communal, with a sense of gathering closer those who share the same pain.
Listen to: of all the broken, until the truth of you, the burning of us all