Deriving their name from two separate sources — their grandfather Jo and the tiny Oregon town in which he had grown up and lived, Joseph, OR, the Portland, OR-based sibling pop trio Joseph, comprised of Natalie Closner and her two, younger twin sisters Meegan and Allison grew up in a rather musical household; however, the sibling trio have only began collaborating together relatively recently. As the story goes, Natalie Closner had been seeking a creative jolt when she asked her younger sisters if they’d be interested in starting a musical project together — and naturally, the Closners quickly recognized an irresistible and undeniable simpatico.
Writing and recording material comprised of elements of old-school county, singer/songwriter pop and contemporary pop, the Closners have received both national and international attention for crafting soaring and anthemic hooks and for gorgeous three part harmonies reminiscent of Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Mamas and the Papas, Pearl and the Beard, Lucius, and others. Now, if you had been frequenting this site earlier this year, you may recall that I wrote about “White Flag,” the first single off the trio’s full-length debut I’m Alone, No You’re Not. The recorded version paired the Closner’s gorgeous three-part harmonies around a slick and ambient production consisting of swirling electronics, handclap-led percussion, folk and country-like guitar chords, and a cathartic, anthemic hook which gave the song’s positive message — that giving up on your dreams and desires should never, ever be an option — a rousing, larger-than-life, urgency.
Earlier this month the Closners were on Later . . . with Jools Holland where they performed an acoustic version of “White Flag” in which they accompany their gorgeous vocals with guitar. Without the slick production, there’s a greater focus on the song’s lyrics, the Closner’s gorgeous harmonies — and while stripped down, the song still packs an enormous emotional punch.