With the heat index peaking at 104 last week, it’s safe to say that summer is quickly upon us. And when the heat rises, so does my urge to leave the city. In fact, by the time September gets here, I’ve damn near packed the UHAUL to head to warmer climates.
One of the things I’ve found that helps keep my sanity during summer is a good old-fashioned roadtrip. Sometimes it’s as close as Krause Springs or Jacob’s Well. Other times it’s down to Galveston or Port Arthur. And if I’m really feeling ballsy, I might head out west to California (or just Marfa).
Whether you’re hightailing it to the nearest beach, camping in the woods, or heading out west to El Cosmico, you or someone on your trip will probably set up a playlist. And if that someone wants to include Austin musicians, they might consider adding “New York City” by Joanna Barbera.
When I listen to New York City, I imagine Joanna riding in an old beat up station wagon. Upbeat and poppishly addictive, it’s like a car full of friends, polaroid cameras, and instruments, heading down a highway on its way to the Big Apple. The windows are down, blowing Joanna’s hair around as she props her feet up on the rearview mirror. Everyone’s having a good time, giddy with excitement for what the trip has in store.
Take a listen:
LISTEN: “New York City” by Joanna Barbera
Joanna gave me a sneak peak of her upcoming album, Forget, a few weeks ago. Chock full of strong female vibes, Forget shows Joanna’s versatility as a singer-songwriter, bridging the gap between Patti Smith and Patty Griffin. With its eclectic tracks, Forget pairs well with sitting on your porch with a bottle of Topo on a hot summer’s night or pounding shots of whiskey before heading to the White Horse.
Femininity permeates Forget like perfume at Midnight Rodeo. Not one of those sugary sweet and floral perfumes, it’s got a powerful edge with hints of bourbon, leather, and a hit of musk: Forget is an album for strong women who have a soft spot for getting in bad relationships. And like a roadtrip, it’s about escaping and finding oneself. To me, it sounds like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants with skinny black denim and weed instead of mom jeans and cupcakes; Feist drunk off whiskey playing in the back of some old roadhouse; PJ Harvey’s Stories from the City stripped down and recorded in Austin.
I’m a big fan of Joanna’s harder songs, like the album opener Tempt Me. Give it a listen:
LISTEN: “Tempt Me” by Joanna Barbera
The album comes out next month–and you can catch Joanna with The Couch at the official Forget release party at Holy Mountain on June 27th.