The Just Joans

Named after a long-standing agony aunt from a popular Scottish newspaper, The Just Joans formed in Glasgow in 2007. Over the last ten years they have released a series of EPs on WeePOP! and have built something of a cult following among navel-gazing indie types. Their songs detail the highs and lows (mainly lows) of modern life, with a particular focus on failing relationships and missed opportunities. Musical touchstones for the band include The Magnetic Fields, The Shangri-Las, Smokey Robinson, The Kinks and Orange Juice.

Now, after a recording hiatus of several years, The Joans are back with a brand new single “No Longer Young Enough”, a girl group-esque ode to that realisation when facing a Saturday night of clubbing that you’d much rather stay in, read a good book and feel fresh in the morning. The single also features original artwork by painter and singer with the band, Katie Pope.

This will be the band’s first release on Fika Recordings. A new album, You Might Be Smiling Now…, will follow later this year.

Press for You Might Be Smiling Now…

“The Just Joans have documented the romantic pratfalls of a generation of indie kids with a sardonic wit and a shambling musical style where Stephin Merritt lies down with The Vaselines. They’re at their best on Big Blue Moon, Katie Pope’s voice soaring above bathos like the stars coming out over Sauciehall Street.” Uncut [6/10]

“it’s a refined downer, enriched by self-lacerating wit (I Only Smoke When I Drink), indie-boy piss-takes (Sleeperbloke), story-song skills (unwanted-pregnancy tale Johnny (Have You Come Lately)) and briefly off-guard touches of synth-pop wistfulness (Big Blue Moon). Best of all is Spector-on-a-budget shimmy No Longer Young Enough, a wise-up call for middle-aged dreamers with just one caveat: the Joans’ own cynicism has improved with age. But don’t tell them, or they might go cheering up.” Record Collector [4/5]

“You Might be Smiling Now… is a sharper, on-the-nose take on indie pop, proving the Just Joans may be older, but, in their own whimsically nostalgic way, perhaps no wiser, and for that we can only be glad.” The List [4/5]

“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.” The Skinny [4/5]

“The similarities with Belle & Sebastian and Camera Obscura in procuring breezy pop melodies combined with intelligent wordplay exist, but on their second album The Just Joans draw more similarities to the American counterpart of all of the above [Leonard Cohen] – Stephen Merritt and his band The Magnetic Fields.” Soundblab [8/10]

“They’ve dredged up their youthful feelings and animated them in both honest and affectionate tones, and it makes You Might Be Smiling Now… a joyous rummage through swathes of bleary nostalgia.” The 405 [8/10]

“The Just Joans are kind of like the Krankies set to indie-pop. They peddle sweet melodies that make the BMX Bandits sound like Slayer and sing on top of them with Scottish accents as thick as a porridge on a winter’s morning. But if their winsomeness is sometimes set to ‘grate’ then their saving grace is a clutch of lovely songs that recall the timeless miniature pop of the likes of the Magnetic Fields. The standout is ‘Steal the Keys (1996 Tears)’ a future indie-pop classic in which it occurs to me that the Scottish pronunciation of ‘six’ sounds a little like ‘sex’ making the closing chorus contains sound like ‘1990’s sex tears’ which pretty much sums up my ’90s. It’s not an anomaly though – there are other treasures here – ‘A Matter of Time’ in particular is near perfect electronic indie with a chorus so catchy that I’ve just emerged from the clinic for treatment.” Norman Records [7/10]

“You Might Be Smiling Now… is a deliciously twisted treat from start to finish. The Just Joans are a perfect Glasgow kiss not to be missed.” Highway Queens

“The Just Joans are back, bigger and better than ever… The band is now a sextet, and the multitude of instrumentation and melodic input has inflated their sound to grander and weightier size, without losing any of the charm, bitterness or dynamism that makes them a noteworthy, humorous and thoroughly enjoyable listen in any situation.” The 405 [O’ Caledonia premeire]

“an exploration of angst, heartbreak and detachment, delivered with a flash of humour from the bottle of a whisky bottle (or should that be a Buckfast bottle). Their sound is classically indie-pop, coming across like Belle and Sebastian’s less well-to-do cousins, or Morrissey if he spent like time trying to look poetic and more time trying to impress the opposite sex with knee slides.” For The Rabbits [I Only Smoke When I Drink premiere]

“It’s still got the charm, whimsy and innocence you expect from the band, siblings David and Katie, but now its bigger, fatter and packed with more ideas. There’s pulsating synths and Mary Chain like guitar solos to go along with melodies to fall in love with, and an ending that’ll make your head spin in the most fantastic way.” Backseat Mafia

“You Might be Smiling Now… is a self-recorded and self-produced brand new collection of cynicism, charm and pure whimsy that the Just Joans’ fans are bound to expect from a new album.” The List [Biblically Speaking premiere]

Press for No Longer Young Enough

“Shambling indie pop in the vein of early Pastels, those home-recorded Belle & Sebastian efforts or the early Postcard singles… and it matches joyous innocence – those backing vocals, that xylophone melody – to some rather downcast lyricism. Wonderfully Scottish.” Clash Music [No Longer Young Enough premiere]

“a winsome and gently hook filled slice of delicate indie pop with some lovely ‘woos’ in the background and the gentle Glaswegian accent of singer Katie Pope. It’s a gem.” Overblown

“offering the perfect brand of glistening indiepop, moving back and forth between upbeat moments and more sultry swing to entice listeners. Such gems are hard to find nowadays, but rumor of a full-length in the works should keep us all looking forward to the next steps from this act.” Austin Town Hall

“Any band that can make us laugh and sigh, often in the same song, is a band to keep in your playlist. Check out the title track, which offers girl-group vocals pointing out that for all of us, there is a time when Friday nights/Saturday mornings in the clubs becomes reading at home in our PJs and an early lights out.” When You Motor Away

“‘No Longer Young Enough’ is four and a half minutes of indie-pop wonderfulness that is destined to be played on repeat by all who hear it. The sharp punchy intro instantly demands attention, picking the listener up before Katie Pope’s sweet vocal kicks in. With a classic girl group style singalong chorus giving the bittersweet lyrics a saccharine coating it’s a highly infectious offering that doesn’t falter from start to finish. Innocence collides with world weary self awareness and joy meets pathos as everything is neatly underpinned by a healthy dollop of humour.” The Barley Boat