New Album From Deaf Joe ‘Kalachuchi’

March 10, 2022

As Deaf Joe, Irish musician Joe Harney has crafted forward-pushing electronic pop with pathos and nuance at heart. On his fifth album, Kalachuchi, the Edinburgh-based artist’s vision comes into sharp focus. Across thirteen songs—each as resounding as the next—Harney navigates love, longing and loss with a finesse that now sets him apart.

On albums including 2019’s Love Stories, as well as collaborations with the likes of Katie Kim and Percolator, Harney emerged as a palette-spanning master.

On Kalachuchi, he spans experimental pop and widescreen electronica to deliver his most fully-realised statement to date. From the Technicolour push-and-pull of opener andlead single ‘Shadow Work (Come Help Me Sleep),’ to the deft, disembodied harmonies of ‘Overstatements’ (To Belong)’, the LP is a gossamer guided tour to inner worlds.

While he was listening to everyone from D’Angelo and Lauryn Hill, to Susumu Yokota and Ryuichi Sakamoto while making the album, Harney commands singular space on Kalachuchi. Where the backwashed ebb and flow of ‘Erase Everything masterfully lulls, peaks including ‘Higher, Forever (Don’t Fall)’ prove open-hearted paeans to moving on and getting better. Whether peering inwards or reaching out, it’s ultimately all the same: this is music made with the solitary listener—the inner experience—squarely in mind.

Recorded in Scotland, Denmark and his native Ireland over three years, Kalachuchi is a release born from, and quietly deferential to, solitude. Across 40 minutes, Harney picks apart everything from the tug-o-war of close relationships to the cosmic restlessness of getting older. A certain beatitude, not least in Harney’s journey to fully embracing life as a gay man, luminously shines through. “The last two albums, Stuck and Love Stories, were made after I came out and they let more light in,” says Harney. “I wanted to continue that with Kalachuchi, keep the curtains open, kick the fucking windows out, Even if things get heavy here or there, it can still float, still feel buoyant, still shimmer.”

Kalachuchi is released via Bluestack Records on March 9th 2022.

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