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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "Letting You Down" - Josephine

"How do I stop over promising?" Singer/Songwriter Josephine asks a second time as the lo-fi drum machine rolls along like a conveyor belt. It's a disarming and razor-sharp lyric that sends her rumination on failure into a spiral. "I'm such a shitty friend!" The striking single from La-based musician Josephine, "Letting You Down," is a masterclass in indie-pop confessional storytelling. The sound of "Letting You Down" is musically clear: sour guitar chords and sweet vocals breezing through verses like a western wind. The sidewinding nature of Josephine's songwriting makes it especially potent upon repeat listens. The chorus opens up into an almost surf-rock style, but it's softened to something dreamier. It's all just so good! As the year comes to a close, Josephine has released my personal favorite song that I've reviewed for the blog all year. It's captivating, relatable, immaculately composed and produced—it's a hidden gem that I feel incredibly lucky to have caught.

The cover of "Letting You Down" features the artist practically transparent against a backdrop of phenomenal coastline. I remark on this because that's how she feels in the song: like you could reach out and your hand would pass right through her. "Sorry that I couldn't make your vision come true," the last word dissolving into reverb. Just when you think you've grasped onto something concrete, ("You moved to California with a vision, / then I made you feel like a visitor"), Josephine complicates the picture with a clever turn of phrase ("Or was it that what we had / should've stayed where it was at"). We'll never know the full story — we aren't meant to. "Letting You Down" is the beauty of making out shapes in a blurry portrait. Josephine morphs, stretches, bends, and disappears entirely. "You're probably used to it by now, letting you down," she repeats in the chorus, as though it tasted funny in her mouth the first time. It's not the type of thing you can just shrug off.

Not much is known about the LA-based artist, Josephine. But the enigma of the artist behind such phenomenal work only makes it more exciting to get in on ground floor. "Letting you down" is not her only fantastic song. "Serenity" is a hazy, lofi mantra for finding peace in the wake of inescapable change, demonstrating her cerebral lyricism. "Perfect," a gorgeous, R&B track released in 2020, backdrops relationship insecurity against sweet acoustics and strolling beats. Then, just today, she released another single, "Paradise," which is equally magnificent. All four singles released thus far, alongside a feature last year, demonstrate exactly why Josephine is an artist you need to be listening to.

Written By Andy Mockbee

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