The Just Joans - Dear Diary, I Died Again Today [Digital]

Artist: The Just Joans
Title: Dear Diary, I Died Again Today
Format: Digital single
Cat#: Fika077SG1
Release date: 25th October 2019
Bandcamp | Spotify

Gloomy Glaswegians The Just Joans announce their new album The Private Memoirs and Confessions of the Just Joans, due out on 11 January via Fika Recordings, by sharing the first single "Dear Diary, I Died Again Today". This painfully beautiful admission of everyday anxiety explores the trauma of awkward conversations with colleagues and vague acquaintances. With a different spin to their usual jangle pop, the inclusion of strings, arranged by Butcher Boy’s Alison Eales, create a dazzlingly maudlin depth to the track.

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of the Just Joans is a deeply personal collection of songs that hazily recall the past and contemplate the futility of the future. At the forefront remain the mischievous lyrics and heartfelt vocals of siblings David and Katie Pope, aided and abetted by Chris Elkin on lead guitar, Fraser Ford on bass guitar, Arion Xenos on keyboards and Jason Sweeney on drums.

A titular twist on the classic gothic horror novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by compatriot James Hogg, the new album is the follow-up to 2017’s You Might Be Smiling Now… and contains the kind of melodies and mockery that led Uncut to class the band as the point at which “Stephin Merritt lies down with The Vaselines.”

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of the Just Joans is a veritable smorgasbord of misery, longing and unrequited love; stories of small town resentments, half-forgotten school friends, failing relationships and awkward workplace conversations. As David explains: “It’s a collection torn from the pages of the diary I haven’t kept over the past 25 years. There are songs about places and people I vaguely remember, feelings I think that I once may have felt and the onset of middle-aged ennui.”

Despite entering new territory with the addition of brass and strings, they have nevertheless maintained the DIY ethos that made them darlings of the underground indie-pop scene, with each song on the album recorded and produced by the band in various gloomy bedrooms around Glasgow.