“Somag News Presents: Soul-Pop with a Real, Passionate Lyrical Touch”

Joseph’s voice is a beacon of light in a dark world, and his debut album Permanent Damage is a testament to his resilience and strength. Growing up in Gartemlock, a suburb of Glasgow’s East End, Joseph’s musical talent was quickly recognized and he was soon selling out the city’s esteemed Wah Wah Hut. His music is an ode to his community, and his vocals are a captivating force on Permanent Damage, which speaks of grief and the healing power of love. From the husky lower register to the gentle falsetto, Joseph’s voice is a powerful tool that he uses to tell stories of teenage relationships and the struggles of power dynamics. The album is a mix of upbeat and relaxed tunes, with subtle instrumentation and layered harmonies. Permanent Damage is an insightful and raw collection of songs that takes risks and speaks to the listener. With its release on January 13, it is sure to be an album that will stay with you long after the music stops.

of Joseph voice shines brightly even in the darkest moments of his life. Perhaps one of the most remarkable vocalists of contemporary British pop music, the Scottish artist is able to change his voice from a husky lower register to a gentle falsetto like it’s child’s play. The 27-year-old’s vocals are an invigorating force on his debut album, Permanent Damage, which is mostly about grief and the restorative bliss that comes afterward, and also reveals more of Joseph’s emotional scars than ever before.

Growing up in gartemlock, suburb of Glasgow’s East End, Joseph became a local word-of-mouth sensation after first sharing his percussion tunes in 2019, leading him to sell the city’s esteemed Wah Wah Hut to King Tutankhamun, before even releasing his first EP, Play Me Something Nice, later that year. As a result, Joseph’s music has long been filled with subtle odes to his community and retellings of nocturnal misadventures, sung with an ease that makes his worldview both chaotic and relatable.

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Four years after Joseph’s initial breakthrough, he now demonstrates a willingness to move on and create a new type of breakup album with “Permanent Damage,” which floats the mindset of a young romantic in constant motion. Often the results are beautiful: get an elegant microcosm of the tiny, ever-changing percussion that pops in and out on “It’s Been A Little Heavy Lately,” or the echo vocoder effects in the final verse of the emotionally devastating “Borderline,” which sound like someone , who catches his breath mid-sob.

Between of Joseph lush voice and his voluminous performance style, it’s easy to get lost in “Permanent Damage”, which at times therefore highlights the lack of trepidation in his music. Sonically, the overriding pleasantness is too often sustained by lackluster arrangements, from the low coffee shop hum of “Just Come Home With Me Tonight” to the cozy tones of vintage soul that envelop “Shower” and “Apartment” 22”.

But despite this relaxed atmosphere, the songwriting also focuses on the fact that our narrator is pushed to the limit. Josef is an insightful and exquisitely raw lyricist, and the essence of his writing lies in the smallest details: from the heady rush of daytime drunkenness to the casual exchange of words with a new flame. The layered harmonies of “Blue Car” tell the story of fractured power dynamics, while the album’s powerful standout “Joe” recalls the tensions of teenage relationships. “I was eighteen and screaming and feeling everything,” he sings with genuine gusto over a thin acoustic guitar that echoes the texture of The La’s debut.

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The internal battles of “Permanent Damage” are unwavering and likely to stay with you long after the songs are over. That’s why it’s a little discouraging that his instrumental offshoots often fade into the background, creating an album that takes risks but never fully reveals itself.


  • Release date: January 13
  • Recording studio: AWAL