A few months ago, newer indie pop duo, joan, performed in Phoenix, Arizona for the second time. After seeing them open for the all-girl band, The Aces, last year, something about them made us want to go back. We are so glad we did!
joan consists of two members, Alan Thomas and Steven Rutherford, both from Little Rock, Arkansas. Both a part of separate bands individually, they came together to write their first single ‘Take Me On,’ and decided to form their band! Thomas is typically the lead singer, guitarist, and keyboardist of the group. Rutherford is the drummer and contributes vocals as well. As for genre, Billboard describes them as an “indie pop duo.” They have a very nostalgic feeling, both to their music and marketing. Their single covers often look straight out of the ’80s, and their first E.P. potra is named after Potra 400 film. The duos unique take on modern indie pop seems to interest more and more new fans each day.
joan is still in their early years, forming around early 2017. In just three years, they have supported multiple artists (most notably COIN, the Aces, and flor) and just recently embarked on their first headline tour.
The tour consisted of 21 dates and enlisted artist Ralph as the opener. The group played all of their E.P. potra, as well as their previously released singles.
The duo opened with single ‘drive all night’ which was the perfect song to get everyone dancing, without taking out all their energy for what was to come. ‘drive all night’ is a perfect mix between an upbeat and more relaxing song, and was fabulous for beginning the show!
Next, they played two songs from potra, ‘stop and stare’ (which has the catchiest hook ever) and ‘tokyo’ (a personal and crowd favorite). There is so much to like about joan, but one thing, in particular, is the feeling of youth their music provides. The three opening songs are perfect for night-time drives with your friends when you feel like you’re on top of the world. Their music provides a feeling of invincibility.
They seem to want to continue this sound in the future, playing a total of six new songs that will be released on a new E.P. The new songs ranged from slow to incredibly upbeat. ‘Love Me Better’ specifically united the whole crowd to a song no one knew the words to. Funnily enough, the duo released this song on April 23rd as their new single!
In between their new songs, the band played their first song ever, ‘take me on’. However, they altered the song into its “chilled” version and gave the crowd a much-needed break from dancing. Next, they played two more new songs and a favorite, ‘ease your mind’.
The two closed the show with their most popular songs. First, ‘love somebody like you’, which has arguably the most fun guitar hook I’ve ever heard. They ended with ‘I loved you first’, which feels straight out of a coming-of-age teen movie.
joan also had awesome lighting, which really added to the experience at the show. It was a very simple setup. All the used was a sign in the back with their band name and two light pillars on each side. However, with each song, verse, chorus, etc., the lighting would change to a new color or combination of colors. This was unique as it somehow perfectly reflected the mood of the song. It added to the overall feeling and was so simple yet so effective.
The most memorable aspect of the show was the end, where joan met all of their fans. To us, that is such an important thing and shows just how much they truly appreciate their audience. We know this cannot be done for a lot of artists because they are so well-known, but it’s just something we appreciated and it made me respect them more!
Overall, we truly expect joan’s success to continue, and we hope it does! Stream the indie pop duo joan’s new song “Love Me Better” on Spotify and be on the lookout for an e.p. coming soon!
When you listen, go tweet @thehoneypop and tell us what you think!
To read about MORE new artists you should check out, click here: Ones to Watch
Image Credit: Emma McCarthy for the Honey Pop Magazine