Photography by Michael Leviton

George Ward
George Ward

Freelance journalist based in Bristol. Can be found at the Grain Barge, Rough Trade or in his tiny basement bedroom writing for CLUNK.

New York-based singer/songwriter Joanna Sternberg drops lovely new single ahead of their upcoming sophomore album

Joanna Sternberg’s music has a classic feel to it. Perhaps it is the gorgeous piano arrangements, reminiscent of Randy Newman, or the simplicity of one voice and one instrument. Their last album ‘Then I Try Some More’ was an underrated, devastatingly sad and beautiful record. Now, with sophomore album on the way, Joanna drops a second single, ‘Mountains High’

Where previous single ‘I’ve Got Me’ paired Sternberg with an acoustic guitar, this one features only their voice and a piano. The sound of the piano is warm, cosy and inviting and their playing is, as always, beautiful. The line is uncomplicated, but incredibly effective, with the warmth matching their vocals and vice versa. 

With such sparse arrangements, the lyrics and vocals are pushed to the front of the track. ‘Mountains High’ is a song about endurance, the daunting prospect of each day and how all we can do is try our best. The lyrics are simple but never amateurish: “I can’t be sure how much I can endure / Each day’s a mountain high”. 

The honesty of these lyrics paired with the fragility and innocence of Joanna’s voice makes for a truly special track and one that should fit snugly into their next project. 

The new album, ‘I’ve Got Me’ is out on 30th June via Fat Possum. 

Listen to ‘Mountains High’ here: 

Catch Joanna Sternberg at the following:

Cafe 939, Boston, MA – 21st April

Bishop’s Lounge, Northampton, MA – 22nd April

118 North, Wayne, PA – 27th April

Comet Ping Pong, Washington, DC – 28th April

Blue Room (Third Man), Nashville, TN – 29th April

Thalia Hall, Chicago, IL – 3rd December

Headliners Music Hall, Louisville, KY – 5th December

Brooklyn Bowl, Nashville, TN – 6th December