Joesef: “Permanent Damage” album review – self-made man sets sights for elegant soul-pop debut


Written by:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Late-night adventures, coffee cup mornings, adolescent relations. Joesef bares all in his coming-of-age debut album, Permanent Damage.

A self-made man who writes and produces his own material is always going to garner additional recognition and praise for his projects. This one is certainly no different. Spurred on with the beautiful It’s Been A Little Heavy Lately and the jaunty flustering of Joe, it’s an almighty step-out in pop decorum, a somewhat lazy sedative into your kitchen stereo.

As a self-produced songwriter, it’s evident that he is not afraid to confront his own emotions. From the workings out of Borderline, a feral tonic to drinking in a relationship, (“Remember what you loved me for? / Even when I’m on the floor? / Hope is hard to find / In-between the things I’ve said / A version of me in your head / But I could never tow the borderline“) to the raw invigoration of Blue Car, (“If there was any difference between us two / If I could let you go, then you know I would / Remember when I said I’d die for you the night the sky drained all the blue? / But dying would be easier than ever loving you,”) every hanging thought and feeling is aired out to dry – despite further downpour being imminent.

“I wanted to evolve my sound, because I think you’re only as good as your last game. I could only better myself. I’m a big fan of records like What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye, the way they sound. It just feels cinematic, and I’ve always been a big fan of that aspect of music.”

Joesef, late-2022

Joesef’s trademark borders on lo-fidelity sounds and wishy-washy soul-pop, but is universally easy to listen to and is undoubtedly a perfect atonement to the cinema screen. It’s the sort of satisfying music that fits in all the right places. You’d be silly to doubt any ounce of quality in his songwriting abilities. Whether it’s a shade of grey you’re not enticed with – simply because you don’t possess a dreamweaver or say “good vibes” in your vocabulary – you can’t argue that it’s simply filled adoration for those who just want to wind down. Acclaimed artiste doesn’t come without its collaborations either. Everyone wants to get in on what you’re smoking. The smooth cruisin’ I Wonder Why with Loyle Carner is just a small sliver into Joesef’s work – I hope he managed to pick up a lot of Carner’s fanbase with it.

The Scottish soul pop-songwriter is expectant to go on his biggest European tour to date in a few weeks’ time. Starting in Belfast on the 10th March, with a Roundhouse special in London on the 19th, before setting to Zürich, Switzerland and finishing in Sala El Sol, Madrid nearing the end of April, it’s set to be a blast.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Latest Stories

%d bloggers like this: