Joan As Police Woman Feels Happy -- Honest

Interview + Performance

Friday, May 23, 2014

Joan As Police Woman Joan As Police Woman (Shervin Lainez)

For more than a decade Joan Wasser made good in supporting roles — in the punk band The Dambuilders, playing violin with Antony & The Johnsons, and touring with Rufus Wainwright. But in 2002, she stepped to the front and established her own indie pop identity. And she gave it a name: Joan As Police Woman.

The music Joan As Police Woman makes is soulful and sexy, with lyrics so frank they sometimes make Wasser blush. “A lot of times when I write the lyrics initially I think, ‘No way is that going to make it into the final song — that’s too revealing or too embarrassing.’” But, as she tells Kurt Andersen in an interview, “I sort of liberate myself from those feelings by saying them in public.”

On her new album, The Classic, Wasser channels the Motown soundtrack of her childhood. But before she could make the record, she had to put aside her reservations about whether she was up to the challenge of being a soul singer. “With each record, I tell more of the voices in my head that say you can’t do this, you can’t do that, to take a hike.”

While still startlingly honest, The Classic is decidedly happier than Joan As Police Woman’s previous albums. Wasser, now 43, attributes that to age. “I think the point of spending more time alive is to figure out how to do it better,” she says. But Wasser doesn’t think that contentedness will sap her creativity. “I don’t think any of us have to worry about getting too happy. Life is really, really intense. And it’s never going to just provide happiness all the time.”

Joan As Police Woman performs live in Studio 360 with Joan Wasser (vocals, violin, keyboard), Eric Lane (bass), Matt Whyte (guitar), and Parker Kindred (drums).


Bonus Track: "Witness" live in Studio 360


Joan as Police Woman performs in Studio 360Joan As Police Woman performs in Studio 360 (Julia Lowrie Henderson)
    Music Playlist
  1. Holy City
    Artist: Joan As Police Woman
    Album: The Classic

    Live Performance

  2. Get Direct
    Artist: Joan As Police Woman
    Album: The Classic

    Live Performance


Joan Wasser

Produced by:

Julia Lowrie Henderson

Comments [2]

capwilly from Manhattan

re: Joan as Police Woman, your show once again does not fail in showcasing rubbish.

May. 25 2014 12:27 PM
ellen from Manhattan

What an incredible show! It was almost too much to digest - one great topic after the other. Re Joan as Police Woman, I'm very critical about vocal music and not a fan of many female singers but I was enormously impressed - the music was adventurous, surprising, and "good" on the ears, and I love her voice. Sorry to be so darn critical!

May. 25 2014 11:52 AM

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