SIGNS TO FAT POSSUM & ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM, I’VE GOT ME, OUT JUNE 30TH 2023 – PRE-ORDER / PRE-SAVE HERE
RELEASES LEAD SINGLE & VIDEO – “I’VE GOT ME”
Joanna Sternberg is a “relentlessly studious songwriter with a sharp sense of how to use phrasing to advance the song they’re singing” (Rolling Stone). Today, Sternberg announces their new album, I’ve Got Me, out June 30th 2023 on their new label, Fat Possum. In conjunction, Sternberg presents its title track/lead single, “I’ve Got Me,” alongside a stunning video featuring their own illustrations. Recorded with producer Matt Sweeney and engineer Daniel Schlett at Brooklyn’s Strange Weather Studios, I’ve Got Me was recorded and mixed over six days of intensely productive sessions during the summer of 2022. “I pretty much stayed out of Joanna’s way,” Sweeney says, “let them know they sounded great and allowed the music to happen.”
Sternberg pulls heavy weight on the album opener, “I’ve Got Me.” Atop their own instrumentation (they masterfully wrote and played every instrument on the record’s 12 songs), Sternberg dissects their own shortcomings with sobering accountability: “And all my faults and flaws and lies // are no one’s fault but mine. // Between self-hatred and self-awareness // is a very small thin line.” Of “I’ve Got Me,” Sternberg says: “I do not remember if I wrote this song before or after reading the poem ‘Oh Yes’ by Charles Bukowski, but the song is definitely meant to reflect the same sentiment. I also have the poem tattooed on my right arm!”
This month, Joanna Sternberg will perform a Union Pool residency in New York on March 8th, 22nd, and 29th. Additionally, Sternberg will head south to Austin for SXSW, as well as play select shows in the US this April. Full dates are listed below.
Sternberg wrote the songs for I’ve Got Me on the 40th floor of a tower in Manhattan Plaza on 42nd Street in New York City. Following the success of Then I Try Some More, Sternberg’s debut album, a stunning combination of a timeless melody and harrowing lyrical insight, they returned to their family’s apartment 40 stories in the sky for what was meant to be a short stay. Society went sideways, so Sternberg stayed up writing in the towers, and the stunning I’ve Got Me came out of their time up there.
After starting a full scholarship to Mannes College Of Music for classical and finishing at the New School on a scholarship for jazz, Sternberg spent their early 20’s gigging non-stop in NYC as a professional stand up bassist. In 2019, they released Then I Try Some More, which quickly began making waves online. Shortly after, they did a successful two-week tour opening for Conor Oberst. It seemed they had finally broken out of the years-long grind of schlepping a double bass on late night subway rides from Brooklyn jazz gigs to uptown orchestra pits. But Sternberg’s retreat home for respite from touring and jazz living coincided with the pandemic and the end of the known world.
The songs on I’ve Got Me are a bat signal from Sternberg’s NYC spire and the confines of their bedroom (represented on the album cover, illustrated by Sternberg). Some of their predecessors in the towers of Manhattan Plaza, a middle-income artists only residence established in the 1970’s, include Charles Mingus, Tennessee Williams, Alicia Keys, and more. It is a massive, 46-story universe of living New York City history, artist families and legendary elders. There is no place like it. The only other entity more representative of working New York City artists might be Sternberg’s family; when asked for influences, Sternberg lists their relatives exclusively, all NYC performers and visual artists: “Yiddish Theater Gods” grandmother Fraydele Oysher and great uncle Moishe Oysher, opera singer grandpa Harold Sternberg, their aunt comedian Marilyn Michaels, and most of all their father, painter/guitarist/songwriter Michael Sternberg.
When asked for musical references outside of their family, Sternberg’s list is far-reaching. “I was raised in a religiously Beatles obsessed household listening to Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and James Brown,” Sternberg says. “Later I became obsessed with Motown – specifically James Jameson – and Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith, and Randy Newman.” Tough old New York music like Ramones, Bob Dylan, and 20th century broadway musicals also inform Joanna’s approach to music, as well as classical legends including Brahms, Mahler, and Mozart. These anachronistic references somehow only draw attention to Sternberg’s singular and universal voice. I’ve Got Me producer Matt Sweeney says: “For me, this album is a dead-on example of how the more brave and clear an artist is in expressing their own world, the stronger it resonates with strangers.”
There’s a cathartic experience to listening to Joanna’s music and that’s exactly why they chose to share their deepest and darkest. “I love people, I love to make people laugh, I love to make them feel better.” Joanna says, “Anytime someone reaches out and tells me my music helped them, my dream comes true.”
JOANNA STERNBERG TOUR DATES
Wed. Mar. 8 – New York, NY @ Union Pool
Tue. Mar. 14 – Fri. Mar. 17 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
Wed. Mar. 22 – New York, NY @ Union Pool
Wed. Mar. 29 – New York, NY @ Union Pool
Fri. Apr. 21 – Boston, MA @ Cafe 939
Sat. Apr. 22 – Northampton, MA @ Bishop’s Lounge
Wed. Apr. 27 – Wayne, PA (Philly) @ 118 North
Thu. Apr. 28 – Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong
I’VE GOT ME
30th June 2023
Pre-order / pre-save here
1. I’ve Got Me
2. I Will Be With You
3. People Are Toys To You
4. Drifting On A Cloud
5. Mountains High
6. I’ll Make You Mine
7. Stockholm Syndrome
8. Right Here
9. The Love I Give
10. She Dreams
11. The Human Magnet Song
12. The Song
FOLLOW JOANNA STERNBERG
My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.