Joey is a delicate, revealing look at the experiences of a non-binary individual, Tica Douglas. This is an album full of intimacy and deliberate, thoughtful musicality. Douglas gives loads and loads of heart to their listeners by sharing stories of gender confusion as a child, being rejected by the parents of a love interest, the beauty of having a family that loved them no matter their gender identity, and the overwhelming urge to be around someone that soothes your soul.
This album is saturated with personal experience from the get go: the first/title track begins “If I were born a boy, they were gonna call me Joey. Once they got to know me, they all called me Joey.”
The soft touches of picked melodies or staccato strumming on acoustic guitar, varying percussion (yay maracas!), sparse electric guitar that seems to just float off into the atmosphere and lush, layered vocals, create a more polished version of the spacey bedroom recording feel that Douglas’ previous works are known and cherished for.
Douglas recorded this album with their band at a farm in rural Maine, so perhaps it’s more of a polished farm recording feel. Regardless, like the lyrics the melodies and beats of this album are drenched in personality and loving care, and each song unfolds the life of Tica Douglas just a smidge more.
The purposeful storytelling of this album reminds me of the gender bending album Woman, by Rhye, or the honest and massively respectable Transgender Dysphoria Blues by Against Me!. The delicacy and deliberation that Tica Douglas constructs the songs of Joey with is noble, and so quietly, lusciously genuine.
Recommended If You Like: Karen O, Cat Power, Kimya Dawson, Matthew E. White
Recommended Tracks: 1 (Joey), 3 (Know More), 5 (Ease), 6 (Mornings), 9 (All Meanness Be Gone)
Do Not Play: None y’all! Play it, play it real good.
Written by Kayci Lineberger on 04/18/2015