Music

Exclusive: Blitzen Trapper Premiere Video for "Joanna"

The band also announces a new run of 2018 tour dates behind ninth studio LP, Wild and Reckless.

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Blitzen Trapper  are currently on tour behind their ninth album, Wild and Reckless, a collection of songs at once timeless in their narrative scope and topical in their subject matter. The album was initially presented in the form of a stage musical, written by the band, that was mounted at the Center Stage at The Armory in Portland earlier this year. After production wrapped, the group added five new original songs to the batch and released them all as Wild and Reckless. One of those newer songs, the haunting murder ballad “Joanna,” now has a video to accompany it, and Paste is premiering it here today.

“Joanna,” says Blitzen Trapper frontman and chief songwriter Eric Earley, “is one of the darkest songs I’ve written.” The sober acoustic number is relayed in the voice of the title character, who shoots and kills the man who sexually assaults her, a waste of space named Donny Dakota.

The song “raises questions and gets at the riddle of what justice really means,” Earley said. “I wrote it some time ago but kept it from being released until this record, Wild and Reckless. It felt like the right time for it to see the light of day, a song that deals with sexual assault and gun violence, in many ways a fanciful tale since victims of assault rarely find justice against their attacker. In my 20s, my closest friend was a victim of this type of violence and her story filled me with such anger and confusion. This song is in ways me explaining to myself and dealing with that frustration that there is extreme darkness that exists in the world, that there are monsters, and often those monsters end up holding the power.”

The video for “Joanna” offers a stark, handheld-camera tour around an ominous rural yard, where a man lays dead in the dewy grass as Earley recounts his heroine’s story of pain and uneasy redemption. Watch the video above and, below, watch Blitzen Trapper perform songs from Wild and Reckless live at Paste Studio earlier this month. The band has also revealed a new slate of tour dates stretching into 2018, which you can find below the video.

Blitzen Trapper Tour Dates
11/18: St. Louis, MO – Blueberry Hill Duck Room – TICKETS
11/19: Nashville, TN – Exit/In – TICKETS
11/30: Santa Cruz, CA – Moe’s Alley – TICKETS
12/1: Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Theatre – TICKETS
12/2: San Diego, CA – Casbah – TICKETS
12/4: Mill Valley, CA – Sweetwater Music Hall – TICKETS
12/5: San Francisco, CA – The Independent – TICKETS
12/7: Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern – TICKETS
12/8: Portland, OR – Revolution Hall – TICKETS
2/16: San Jose, CA – The Ritz – TICKETS
2/17: Costa Mesa, CA – The Wayfarer – TICKETS
2/19: Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge – TICKETS
2/20: Tucson, AZ – Club Congress – TICKETS
2/22: Austin, TX – Antone’s – TICKETS
2/24: Dallas, TX – Three Links – TICKETS
2/26: Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf – TICKETS
2/27: Denver, CO – The Bluebird Theater – TICKETS
2/28: Colorado Springs, CO – The Black Sheep – TICKETS
3/1: Fort Collins, CO – Washington’s – TICKETS
3/2: Salt Lake City, UT – The State Room – TICKETS
3/3: Park City, UT – O.P. Rockwell – TICKETS

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