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Folk-pop band Joseph returns with triumphant single “Fighter”

The Pacific Northwest’s burgeoning indie scene makes a bid for the mainstream thanks to this trio of talented sisters

If you haven’t heard of Joseph yet, I’m sorry to say you’re failing at life. Too harsh? Well, at any rate, it’s time to get familiar. The Portland indie folk-pop trio, which consists of Natalie Closner Schepman and her twin sisters Meegan and Allie Closner, have made waves in recent years for their powerhouse vocals and absolutely killer harmonies. Their previous album, “I’m Alone, No You’re Not” was an impeccable piece of craftmanship, full of intricately layered harmonies, empowering calls to action, and deeply vulnerable reflections on life and learning to be a better human — both to other people and to yourself. Also: If you haven’t seen their electric live performances, you’re missing out.

After a few years away from the spotlight (and each other), the Portland-based group is back with a soaring new single, “Fighter.” The trio’s familiar sound is on display here, and the song‘s sound could easily pairs well with “White Flag” off their previous album; it’s an empowered anthem about prevailing in the face of strife, and anyone who has followed the band’s countdown storytelling on Instagram will know the message rings true for the group. It’s also their most mainstream song yet, subbing in synths and percussion for the group’s usual acoustic backing instruments. It is, thankfully, a subtle change, but a clear step in a new direction as the band refines its sound. It helps that they also debuted the song on Apple’s Beats1, which can only boost their exposure as they get ready for relentless album promotion. If ever the group was poised for mainstream success, it’s now.

Wide eyes, eyes wide / I want a fighter
Don’t lie this time / I need a fighter

If “Fighter” is any indication, Joseph’s upcoming third full studio album, “Good Luck, Kid,” is going to be more of the same from the group — in the absolute best way possible. Saying that “Fighter” would fit seamlessly on “I’m Alone, No You’re Not” is not at all a dig at the group or an attempt to make their material sound derivative. Rather, it’s an acknowledgment that their last album was a finely tuned masterpiece that showcased everything unique about this group, and they’re absolutely right to capitalize on that magic. This is a trio of tight-knit sisters who know what they do well, and they’re nothing if not true to themselves.

Listen to the track below:

Joseph’s new album, “Good Luck, Kid,” is out September 13th.

A recovering pop music addict who’s finding his way in the wide, wonderful world of music.

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