Sloan Peterson: Steppin’ Out

With Sloan Peterson‘s debut EP, Australia’s Joe Jackson shows she’s wise beyond her years

Joe Jackson, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of the pop/punk band Sloan Peterson, was raised in a religious family. “I was at church every Sunday,” she says. “After the service, I’d go and play the keyboard while everyone else was socializing.” Growing up in a small town outside of Brisbane, Australia, Jackson found her options limited.

“Most secular music was forbidden at home, but on Saturday, while we did our weekly chores, my dad played his old CDs,” she says. “My brothers and sister and I would be mopping, vacuuming and dancing like crazy to Herman’s Hermits, Gene Chandler and the Beach Boys. When I was 13, they sent me to public school. A friend lent me her iPod. When ‘All You Need Is Love’ came on, I died and went to heaven. I listened to it for a year straight. We didn’t have internet at home, so I didn’t realize the Beatles had 236 other songs I could obsess over.”

At 15, Jackson picked up a guitar and started writing songs. When she turned 16, she moved to Sydney on her own and joined Black Zeros and began exploring the retro sounds that dominate Sloan Peterson’s self-titled debut EP (on Mirror).

“As I grew musically, the band changed and came along with me,” says Jackson. “I’ve always been intrigued by other eras. Doo-wop and girl groups resonate with me. I love simple, catchy tunes about love and heartbreak.”

The songs on Sloan Peterson are bright bursts of pure pop, driven by Jackson’s incendiary guitar and passionate vocals. “Good News Day” is a mid-tempo breakup song; “Midnight Love” sounds like the Angels (“My Boyfriend’s Back”) on overdrive; and on “I Want You,” Jackson’s slide-guitar work intensifies her feelings of unattainable love.
“I’m a total lover and always have been,” says Jackson. “I’m also a sensitive person, so it’s natural to write a song when I’m low or high on love.”

j. poet