“I’ve Got Me” By Joanna Sternberg
Joanna Sternberg will release their new album, entitled I’ve Got Me, on June 30th via Fat Possum. Along with the news, the artist has shared the title track/lead single, “I’ve Got Me.” 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 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.”
I’ve Got Me
Fat Possum Records
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
Joanna Sternberg 2023 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
Thu. Apr. 27 – Wayne, PA @ 118 North
Fri. Apr. 28 – Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong
Pre-order I’ve Got Me by Joanna Sternberg HERE
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