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Sister, Sister, Sister 

Natalie Closner of sister trio Joseph discusses success on Spotify, collaborating with family and what's next for the band

Natalie Closner, center, and her younger sisters Allison and Meegan make up the trio Joseph. - EBRU YILDIZ
  • Ebru Yildiz
  • Natalie Closner, center, and her younger sisters Allison and Meegan make up the trio Joseph.

In 2015, a few friends and I ventured to Volcanic Theatre Pub to check out a band called Joseph that we'd heard had beautiful harmonies. We were blown away. The three sisters that make up the band, Joseph, vocalize together to create stunning soundscapes. A year later, it seemed like every other Spotify compilation playlist I listened to featured the band's breakout single, "White Flag."

In the three years since Natalie, Allison and Meegan Closner last graced us with their folk-pop presence, they return to the same venue—this time with a bigger fan base and armed with a dreamy arsenal of tunes.

"We have an incredibly passionate team," Natalie Closner says of their success and ability to capture the attention of networks including Spotify and NPR. "They have treated this project like they created it themselves. I just feel really lucky. They are so good. They'll send it around to different people, and the whole idea is to get a buzz going. Then it's really up to those networks to decide. It's been really cool. Spotify is a huge champion of artists."

While great management makes a difference in achieving commercial success, raw talent may be the biggest factor—which the Closner sisters have in spades. Having a great producer and mixer doesn't hurt, either.

"It's funny because when we wrote 'White Flag,' it was during an L.A. co-write with an amazing guy named Morgan," Closner says. "It was good, we liked it, but to be honest it wasn't our favorite. When we got in the studio, it didn't feel like it was coming to life. I'll never forget this moment: We were feeling a little downtrodden from traveling. He sent a mix and I remember listening to it in my headphones and being like, 'Uuh, guys!' We were dancing all over the room freaking out. It was so much bigger than we thought it could be. It felt like a battle cry in that moment when we were feeling so bad."

Collaborating and creating music with family is nothing new, though the idea of doing so with my own two sisters seems like a nightmare (no offense, Emily and Lucy). Fortunately, it works for the Closner sisters. Natalie started writing songs in 2008, but had been thinking about it for longer.

"It's been so amazing to get to have this experience together," Closner says. "It's been so fun to see them go with their gut instinct. For me, it was, 'this is the form, this is the rhyme scheme.' There's always two thoughts: 'I'm alone; no you're not.' I would never have thought of that. It's really been a cool experience to have their gut instincts paired with my time working on it."

Closner says there's constant conversation in collaboration. For her, writing songs has been among the scariest things she's ever done. Working with her sisters takes a lot of tenderness and communication. The best parts? Closner loves the little things, like sharing each other's clothes and reading each other's minds.

"Honestly, it just comes down to the fact that we'll get to talk about these experiences when we're 80 years old," Closner says. "We're a family, so we can't get away from each other. There's some really intense, deep stuff when working with anyone else, we always have to push through because it's not like we're going to go away. I think that's been an extremely nourishing human experience. The entire spectrum of human emotion, it's been incredible to have them by my side. If this thing falls on its face, we always have each other. I'm really grateful."

Joseph plans to record this summer with plans for a new single out by the end of the year.


Fri., March 16., 8pm

Volcanic Theatre Pub

70 SW Century Dr., Bend

$20/adv at

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