Joanna Sternberg

I've Got Me (Fat Possum)

Contact Jacob Daneman, Jaycee Rockhold about Joanna Sternberg

This Friday, New York City-based singer-songwriter Joanna Sternberg will release their highly anticipated new album, I’ve Got Me, on Fat Possum. Today, Sternberg unveils the album’s arresting final single “Stockholm Syndrome,” with an accompanying video animated by Sternberg themself. The songs on I’ve Got Me carry an emotional wallop, with “Stockholm Syndrome” examining the horror of an NYC chemical romance. “I was surprised that my friends encouraged me about this song because originally I was too embarrassed to even consider showing it to anyone,” Sternberg says. “It is about looking back on a romantic relationship and realizing all of these things that you thought were normal at the time were actually very damaging to you, including the relationship itself.”


With producer Matt Sweeney and engineer Daniel Schlett at Brooklyn’s Strange Weather Studios, I’ve Got Me was recorded and mixed over six days of intensely productive sessions during the summer of 2022. In their glowing profile of Sternberg, Rolling Stone writes, “If Sternberg’s debut was a snapshot of a specific time and place in their life, I’ve Got Me is a musical mission statement Sternberg has been waiting their entire life to share, one where they play every single instrument (cello, violin, guitar, piano, double bass, to name a few).” This sentiment is echoed by Sweeney, who says of the recording process, “I pretty much stayed out of Joanna’s way, let them know they sounded great and allowed the music to happen.”


The songs on I’ve Got Me are a Bat Signal from Sternberg’s NYC spire: the middle income artists-only residency within the towers of Manhattan Plaza. Some of Sternberg’s Manhattan Plaza predecessors include Charles Mingus, Tennessee Williams, Alicia Keys, and more. It is a massive, 46-story universe of living New York City history, artist families and legendary elders. There is no place like it. Returning to their family’s apartment, 40 stories in the sky, for what was meant to be a short stay, Sternberg wrote the songs for I’ve Got Me. This being 2020, and for reasons no longer necessary to explain, society went sideways, so Sternberg stayed up writing in the towers, and the stunning I’ve Got Me came out of their time up there.


Thelonious Monk said “a genius is the one most like himself”— in 2023 we’re lucky Joanna Sternberg knows the most vulnerable parts of themself well enough to make music that shows how strong each one of us can be. Sternberg’s got all this and more.