Joyce Prescher – Black on White
  • RELEASE DATE /15 September 2022
  • LABEL /Cheersquad Records & Tapes
  • FORMAT /digital single
Joyce Prescher


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Black on White’ is the third single Joyce Prescher releases this year, ahead of her album ‘Out of My Mind’. “I wrote his name on a thin piece of paper, tossed it away in the wind …” thus starts Joyce Prescher’s latest single ‘Black on White’. A tender, melancholic folk tune, that sings about letting unanswered love fade. The kind of innocent love you kept to yourself and yet somehow, without ever knowing, the other person breaks your heart.

With her carefully crafted lyrics, haunting melodies, beautiful fingerpicking, and rich velvety vocals – with subtle accenting reminiscent of artists like Ane Brun or even the Swedish duo First Aid Kit  –  Dutch-born Joyce Prescher has slowly but steadily been making a name for herself on the Melbourne and national Americana and folk scene. Joyce’s music takes you back to days long gone, with its gentle nods to 70s artists like Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. Her words are delivered with honesty and melancholy; you cannot help but be roped in and left mesmerised.

The tune opens with beautifully fingerpicked guitar laced with cello, gentle fingers stroking the keys of a piano and so much empty space it reminds of the void after someone’s left your life.

It’s a song about surrender. About allowing love to pass through one’s life, like a traveller. But also, an expression of strength in reclaiming one’s place again by giving love ‘back to the night’.

Performed live, the intimately sung words can silence a crowd then have a whole room sing along to the chorus lines ‘Black on white, give him back to the night’.

About the songwriting process, Joyce says: The song simply started with a feeling, then a few lines that unravelled into a cinematic piece of storytelling. It was the kind of song that just flows out and once it does, you sit mesmerised and wonder ‘where did that come from?’ The melody came to me in a similar fashion. I didn’t have to force anything, it happened naturally, and that’s how I prefer it.

Black on White was recorded at Allan Eaton Studio and Sing Sing Studios. The song was produced and mixed by Simon Moro of Ninety Nine 100 and mastered by Adam Dempsey. It features Daniel Farrugia on wind machine, Craig Newman on double bass, Luke Howard on piano and Lily Thornton on cello.

Originally from the Netherlands, Joyce Prescher moved to Melbourne over a decade ago. She met a man during a safari in Africa, and decided to follow him back to Australia, where she fell in love with Melbourne and its thriving music and art scene. She never really left after.

Joyce started singing from a very early age – according to her mother, “before she could talk”. Music was a big part of the family; there was always music playing and constant singing on road trips with four kids in the back of a tiny hatchback. Rumour has it she was conceived on ‘The dark side of the moon’, which could explain her love of Pink Floyd.

As children, Joyce and her siblings would write silly songs, and Joyce performed in local community events before the age of ten. In the first year of high school, she heard a boy play beautifully on a grand piano, and she sat with him and offered to sing along. He was quite taken by Joyce’s vocals; they became good friends and would occasionally write and perform together, as a duo or with a band.

Around this time, her mother would play guitar after the kids had gone to bed. Joyce would lie awake listening to her mum softly strumming. Frustrated that no one ever really played the songs she wanted to sing on guitar or piano, and dreaming of being a songwriter herself, at age 15 she decided to learn to play her mother’s guitar. In university, she formed her first band and started to combine her writing skills (she used to write short stories and lots of poems) with her love of music. She also improved her singing skills by joining a choir for a few years.

It took her a while to find her feet and her scene in Melbourne, but by 2013 she formed her first band in her new home. The band was short-lived, but the spark was re-ignited, and Joyce has been writing and performing regularly since.

Joyce released her debut album Home in 2017, which was praised by PBS and listed in their top 10 albums upon release.

In 2020 Joyce joined the line-up of a show called Keep the Circle Unbroken, curated by Delsinki. With the show she has performed at the Memo Music Hall, the 2022 Port Fairy Folk Festival and as part of their regional Victoria tour in 2021. She shared the stage with many Australian favourites, including Tim Rogers, Kylie Auldist, Mick Thomas, Debra Byrne, Sarah Carroll, Kerryn Fields and XANI. Joyce also features on the Keep the Circle Unbroken album, which was recorded live in July 2020 at the Memo Music Hall in St Kilda, between the two Melbourne lockdowns.

In November 2021 Joyce performed as part of three sold out shows paying tribute to the late Justin Townes Earle at the Brunswick Ballroom.

More recently, Joyce completed a tour as part of the Sing a Song of Sixpence line up, with artists including Abby Dobson, Freya Josephine Hollick, Charm of Finches, Van Walker, Grim Fawkner and more.