Arkansas alt-pop duo unpick their formative musical passions...

joan have created their own sonic universe.

The Arkansas alt-pop duo exist on their own terms, with each song finely honed down to the very last degree.

New EP 'cloudy' - the pair's first since 2018 - is out now, and it's a fantastic return, an irresistible blend of pop melodies and in-depth songwriting.

On streaming services now, the emphatic new EP will receive a limited 12 inch vinyl drop through Photo Finish Records.

Clash spoke to joan about their Influences.

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I remember this song so vividly from my childhood. Blasting it from the radio of my mom’s ‘76 Dodge Charger, singing along from the green velvet seats in back.

Music has always had a way to move me emotionally, even from a very early age, but there few songs that move me as deeply as this one. Bryan's voice IS the 80’s in my mind, (right next to Don Henley and Steve Winwood). It’s the ultimate love song power ballad - soft start that grows into a big yearning chorus. they mastered both the piano and vocal hook. You KNOW exactly what song it is the moment it starts.

That’s a big goal for us: to write timeless songs that hit you now or in 30 years.

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Yowzer, this song is suuuuch a vibe. The main keys sound is an acoustic patch from Korg’s m1 synth. I’ve always wanted that sound but could never find out what synth it was from.

We bought a Korg software bundle that came with the M1, were just sifting through the sounds one day and BOOM there it was. The song has such a dry character throughout - from the vocal, to the acoustic M1 patch, even down to the short decay of the open hi-hat sample. Her vocals are so up front and in your face, yet smooth and chill. The drums have the perfect amount of movement and layering.

And the chorus. WHAT A CHORUS. An absolute ear worm. One of our favourite songs from the 90s.

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Usher’s 'My Way' album was one of the first albums I ever purchased as a kid. Honestly probably from the CD section in Wal-Mart. The album planted a seed in me for my future in making music. I wanted to sing like Usher. I wanted to write songs like Usher.

The magic of this song starts with the first four beats of the kick sample outside of the song. The groove of this is so so dope with the textures of the breath noises over the beat filling the gaps. The hi-hats almost have a shaker quality to them, and i swear every song needs a triangle in it.

It’s such a simple production, with just a single acoustic guitar looped throughout, muted here and there for dynamics. the melodies throughout are so classic, smooth R&B and his voice is absolute butter.

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Sheesh, this one. I caught on to this one and 'Truly Madly Deeply' way late because I was tiny when they came out but loved Savage Garden so much growing up.

Me and Alan draw a lot of inspiration from Savage Garden as a songwriting duo. They did such a good job of creating very effective and tangible lyrics around a big idea, all while meshing that idea with music that matches.

This song slams for that reason - it almost seems like common sense, as if the song just wrote itself. I think that’s what makes it so good, you can so easily envision yourself in the writer’s shoes - that’s rare and special.

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Whew! What a stinger. There are some songs that feel so familiar at first listen, like you’re so sure that you’ve heard it before. You somehow know and understand it right away - that’s such a cool thing to bottle into a song. 

I heard this song for the first time on Dawson’s Creek and it was the first time I remember experiencing a perfect visual to match a song. It blew me away and opened up a whole new perspective on music for me. The lyrics make no sense and also the most sense at the same time - “kiss me under the milky twilight, lead me out on the moonlit floor” - I don’t know, I just love that they were able to pull off such an accessible concept with cool and complex lyrical texture.

The production feels sooo simple but so intentional - you can hear every single piece of the song and every part has a reason to be there.

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joan's new EP 'cloudy' is out now - purchase LINK.

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