Is it still folk? Lotta St. Joan releases new album

by | Music, Music Reviews

Lotta St. Joan, the Berlin-based folk singer/songwriter who’s been garnering positive reviews and slow nods of the head from bearded people who smoke pipes (I made that last bit up) is now releasing her new album Song for the Undecided.

This exploration of / ode to a lack of decision-making ability has simultaneously elevated her from the ranks of impressive indie folk artists (think Laura Marling meets Angel Olsen meets Joan Baez, if you can) and, with a new sense of musical hunger, opened up a veritable paintbox of musical colour options.

Certain songs feature a full band, certain songs feature orchestral embellishments, and there are lovely touches of ethereal choir scattered here and there, giving rise to “a long sought after tonal quality that places the songs in a magical melancholy as if performed under the blankets in an isolated woodland cabin in an almost childlike nostalgia”.

Her last album impressed the critics:

“Lotta St Joan impresses with her solo debut HANDS in many ways, including her unflinching calm. I am thrilled by her calmness, by her intensity, by her avoidance of song clichés. Her reflections on closeness, on doubts, and also on desires take on an immensely credible, relevant dimension.”

Christine Heise for Radio Eins

In fact the album is not simply about indecision: Song of the Undecided journeys through the mind of a person who struggles with indecision and regrets, glorification of past relationships and how they affect the ability to commit to a new future. It explores both the suffering of the self and those close to her,  as well as the hope that springs from knowing the indecision that plagues her also leaves an infinity of possibilities for the future due to the nature of never fully committing to the key decisions life imposes upon her.

a certain sweet sentimentality, a grandiosity of vision, and a world-weary look at life

Co-writing her scores with Hans Gnendinger and Producer Cameron James Laing (Famous Gold Watch Studios, where she recorded the album) and with musical arrangements that bring a homely familiarity to ground the grandiose orchestration, Lotta St Joan has managed to pull off a remarkable achievement in creating a record that balances a certain sweet sentimentality, a grandiosity of vision, and a world-weary look at life that is surely beyond her young years.

Lotta St. Joan is releasing her new album with a release party in her chosen city of Berlin, at the Pfarrkirche Weissensee on 23rd March.

If you’re in Berlin then be sure to pop along to this full band concert of a determinedly talented young singer who’s about to break out of the folk niche to mainstream acceptance, or I’ll eat my left shoe.

Lotta St. Joan w/ band

Pfarrkirche Weissensee

Saturday 23rd March

Doors 7.30 pm;

Tickets on door are: 15 euro;

Tickets in advance: 14 euro via

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