As an Englishman living in Vienna it has taken me a while to get into the Austrian singer/songwriter scene. Firstly because I couldn’t understand the words, and secondly because at times the rather depressing “grantl” music was extremely difficult to get into.
It seems that the land of Schnitzl and Leberkäse has finally won me over to this kind of music, and I would now like to introduce to you: Jo Strauss
If Ernst Molden and Tom Waits joined forces to create a child, then this is probably what he would sound like. The Wiener-Berliner Jo Strauss sings about the “real” life. Realistic, depressing, at times morbid and at times hopeful. The music is entrancing. It is certainly not for everyone, and you will have to be in the right kind of mood – perhaps on a comedown after a two day binge of Spritzer and Melange….. But it has a certain quality that perhaps deserves a bit more attention than just a fleeting listen. Once you get past the initial unusualness of his voice it truly is rewarding.
Jo Strauss’s self-titled debut album is out on the Vienna label Prückl Beats and can be bought and listened to here