Get Direct (live) by Joan as Police Woman

In the early parts of the first decade of the 2000s, I was a voracious music consumer. I was greedily searching for new music from artists that are unfamiliar here in the Philippines and the Internet made it very easy to find them. Because of Lilith Fair, I got to know many Canadians artists and they had a sound and an emotional honesty that I really connected with like Chantal Kreviazuk and Tara MacLean and it cemented my love for women singers and songwriters. I rediscovered Aimee Mann and my sister-in-law sent me four CDs of her back catalogue from the United States. In my travels to Singapore and Hong Kong, I was able to complete all of Kate Bush’s albums from record stores there as CD Warehouse disappeared and Tower Records stopped offering a wide range of choices and only sold pop records (until they eventually disappeared as well).

I greedily ate up every new album of Fiona Apple and had friends who went abroad buy it if it were not available in record stores here. The Internet made it possible to find new stuff and I fell in love with Charlotte Martin.

Music magazines like Spin and the like led me to other artists as well and that’s how I got to know of Joan as Police Woman. I am familiar with Joan Wasser’s name from CD liner notes and knew her to be a violinist. An article on her told me that she released her own material as Joan as Police Woman and I looked for it and was surprised. Her first album, Real Life, was a difficult listen but I instantly fell in love with Eternal Flame and The Ride.

I’ve kept tabs on her and, now that iTunes allows me to buy music from their store here in the Philippines, I bought the single for The Magic and discovered, just a few days ago, that she had released a new album, The Classic.

That’s when I heard this:

I loved it immediately. I browsed through iTunes and listened to sample clips from the other songs and fell in love with Get Direct. The lyrics broke my heart.

If you would be mine
We could be happy, we could be happy
If you wouldn’t mind
We could be happy, we could be happy

That gentle keyboard hum and that steady drum beat pushing the song forward. And then she sings so delicately and with so much vulnerability her proposition that “we could be happy” is just so powerful to me.

Get Direct has been on constant repeat on my iTunes now. The live version’s violin solo just sends electricity right through my veins and it makes my heart bleed. It’s so tender and yet the longing is so deep that it can break me. I feel it. I know it so well. It’s like Kate Nash’s Nicest Thing all over again. That’s another song that gets right under my skin.

Get Direct is my new start of the year anthem. Holy City and Shame are my uptempo, get-up-and-dance songs but it is Get Direct that says what I am feeling.

Don’t take the tangle for my past
I left that ruin long ago
And I moved out to deep end
Braced myself in case a piece like you
Would walk on, walk on by
Oh baby please

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