Based in Fleet, 19-year-old Ethan Attwood-Summers might well be a bedroom genius. Performing under the moniker Son Joan, he has just released his debut EP ‘Menagerie Melodies’ via Quatre Femmes Records and you can own it via Bandcamp.
Full of scuzz and riffs, there’s a DIY attitude bursting throughout the opening track ‘A Balancing Act’. With lots of glitches and a drum machine adding extra ferocious menace, it’s something akin to East India Youth collaborating with A.R.E. Weapons. Around the two-and-a-half minute mark, the song bursts into a loftier sound before then dissolving into a more distorted and detuned climax. The jaunty aesthetic of ‘Open Door’ belies Son Joan’s tender years – there’s an assuredness and maturity and you get the sense he knows exactly what his sound should be. Using only his voice, guitar, drum machine and effortless knack for melodies, you get the feeling he finds this stripped-down set-up as an opportunity to explore new sounds.
It’s to Son Joan’s credit that the likes of early Patrick Wolf, Graham Coxon’s solo output and even Bob Dylan are all touch points, none more so than on the popular ‘Sucker Punch’ (for which you can watch the video below). A galloping indie-folk sound – with the guitars turned up, of course – is complemented by the distinguished and distorted vocals that float around in the ether of the song. The final song on the record ‘Willow’ is an altogether more grubby affair. Drenched in feedback throughout, with some distinctly unsettling rumbling noises, the song could be a distant relative of Suede’s ‘Animal Nitrate’ – it’s grunge laden, androgynous and has a magnetic, fuzzy appeal.
From our local area , Son Joan could be the next act to put Fleet on the musical map.