Joesef announces debut album 'Permanent Damage' and tour dates

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The East End Coast soul star Joesef announces his highly anticipated debut album Permanent Damage, set for release on 13 January 2023 on AWAL. Representing the multilayers of the Scottish singer’s character and heart, over the past two years we have all witnessed an artist who has grown from bedroom pop to master and co-producer of new soul born from new heartbreak. Writing songs that are nakedly, wrenchingly honest, but with a sense of humour that “underlines the harsh punchline”, Joesef today reveals the anthemic new single “Joe”, lifted from Permanent Damage. “Joe” introduces the overarching theme of the album: the permanent damage and the cost of loving deeply, and how that stays, like a scar, with you. “It’s about grieving for a version of myself that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get back,” says Joesef. But in the Glaswegian’s typical tongue-in-cheek manner, the negative relationship Joesef has with himself, Joe, is transformed into the upbeat, Fleetwood Mac inspired future dancefloor favourite, questioning the universal feeling of never perceiving yourself to be good enough.

The magnetic power of “Joe” live has already set audiences alight this summer, seeing fans with “their arms in the air holding each other singing the chorus” at hometown festival Otherlands, Reading & Leeds Festival, and his stunning intimate live shows at London’s iconic 100 Club and King Tuts in Glasgow to celebrate Permanent Damage, as well as his biggest ever UK and European tour to date in March and April 2023. “Joe”, as well as the sublime recent singles “East End Coast” and “It’s Been A Little Heavy Lately,” all introduce the tone for an album that captures the anxiety and heartache of confrontation with a new-self, from a queer kid who grew up in a city of bullshit-free, grasp-the-thistle honesty at all the times. Finding home away from one’s home, Glasgow, is at the heart of Permanent Damage.

Known for his cinematic visuals, drawing inspiration from films such as Trainspotting, Kids and Beats, Joesef has worked with longtime collaborator Luis Hindman on the official video for “Joe,” depicting a tumultuous relationship centred in his flat in London, which shows the echoes and ghosts of a past lover, and self. Luis Hindman also directed the stunning “East End Coast”, which was evocative of the scenes and the queer community captured in Jeremy Artherton Lin’s “Gay Bar” and Wolfgang Tillman photography, and praised by Attitude Magazine as a “celebration of queer intimacy”.

Understanding he was queer from an early age, but “the kids made fun of my trainers more than my sexuality,” Joesef was raised in his tight-knit community of East End Glasgow to celebrate his identity and understand it. Parallels have been drawn between author and new friend Douglas Stuart’s experience as a queer man growing up in Glasgow, documented in his Booker Prize winning novel “Shuggie Bain” and recent offering “Young Mungo”. “I feel like I’ve downplayed the things I went through as a result of growing up queer in Glasgow. Just because it serves me no purpose to rehash it with myself. But, aye, it’s so nice to have that outlet after all these years of biting my tongue, walking in a certain way, talking in a certain way, just to avoid getting my head kicked in. As much as I can defend myself and handle myself – and I’ve got two older brothers – it was always better just to blend in a wee bit. And I feel like I would have got into music a bit earlier if it wasn’t for that mentality, of not wanting to upset the rhythm.” says Joesef.

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