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Joan as Police Woman to showcase new album at Aberdeen's Lemon Tree

By Lewis McBlane

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INDIE and alt-R&B veteran Joan as Police Woman (Joan Wasser) is bringing a new collaboration along with her vast back catalogue to a show at Aberdeen's Lemon Tree.

Joan as Police Woman is set to play the Lemon Tree on Friday, June 24
Joan as Police Woman is set to play the Lemon Tree on Friday, June 24

Friday's (June 24) show is in support of latest album The Solution is Restless, a collaboration with legendary drummer the late Tony Allen and singer-songwriter Dave Okumu.

The project is the last album Afrobeat pioneer Allen ever played on and fuses the smoky beauty of Wasser's typical work with huge afro-trip hop production.

Wasser has been releasing music since the 1990s on her own and in a host of bands.

Speaking about her attitude to music in 2022, she said: “I can comfortably say that music has saved my life.

"I am a devotee. It’s not something I can even choose or not choose, it’s just what it is.”

Born in Maine, and raised with her brother in Connecticut by adoptive parents, Joan began studying violin in elementary school.

She went on to study classical violin at university, and was drawn to new compositions written for smaller ensembles.

She started pushing the boundaries on her violin, and with a head full of wild dark hair with a white streak up the middle, she performed regularly with local punk bands.

In 1994, she landed in Brooklyn, NYC, and began working as a session musician, playing her violin across every genre from Haitian to pop and R&B.

She became a member of Anohni’s ensemble (formerly Antony and the Johnsons) and recorded I Am A Bird Now.

In 2002, Joan As Police Woman was born, named in homage to the 1970s television cop show starring Angie Dickinson.

She began touring with Rufus Wainwright for his Want One and Want Two albums, playing in his band and as his opening act.

Her first record, Real Life, earned the band Best Rock and Pop Album at the Independent Music Awards.

Her second album, To Survive, was chosen in 2008 as one of Q Magazine’s Albums of the Year.

Alongside touring and album making, Wasser has a history of saying yes to unusual projects and collaborations.

She said: “I just want to be making music all the time.”

This has led to a large and diverse list of co-collaborators, including: Tony Allen, Damon Albarn, Lou Reed, Beck, Afel Bocoum, Meshell Ndegeocello, Toshi Reagon, David Sylvian, Benjamin Lazar Davis, Sparklehorse, Laurie Anderson, Sufjan Stevens, John Cale, Aldous Harding, Woodkid, Justin Vivian Bond, RZA, Norah Jones, Lau, Doveman, Rufus Wainwright and Daniel Johnston.

Recently, Joan has had the pleasure of subbing for Guy Garvey, of the band Elbow, on his BBC 6Music show, Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour.

In 2017, she and pianist, Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), co-wrote the film score for Permission, directed by Brian Crano.

In early 2019, Joan took a look back at her first fifteen years of music, and gathered together songs for a triple-disc compilation album, Joanthology, which also became an extensive and hugely acclaimed solo world tour.

She has also released a covers album in 2020 named Cover Two, covering artists including Prince and a live album in 2021.

Click here to buy tickets for the show.

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