Joseph & the Beasts
Gig Seeker Pro

Joseph & the Beasts

Baltimore, Maryland, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Baltimore, Maryland, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Experimental


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Joseph Mulhollen and his Problematical Animals"

Joseph Mulhollen has some very unique and intriguing inspiration behind his new album Problematical Animals.

“I had an archaeology professor who would use the term ‘problematical animals’ to describe any archaeological artifact depicting an unidentifiable animal. Specifically, animals with the body of one animal, the head of another, the legs of another, tails, horns, etc. Archaeologists considered them to be mythical creatures, or deities.”

Problematical Animals (Scenic Route Records) features 16 songs, each one representing a different problematical animal. Mulhollen uses each track to tell the tale of one of these creatures, its conflicts, and its motives while drawing parallels to his life and the lives around him.

So how about the music? Glad you asked.

Problematical Animals is a pop rock opera. This music is dense, complex, layered, and (to put the icing on the cake) Mulhollen composed, programmed, and played all the instruments and synthesizers that appear throughout this masterpiece.

You will hear elements from the genres of folk, bluegrass, rock, pop, and electronic music all combined seamlessly to create something fresh and exciting.

I typically try and compare bands to more established acts in these reviews but Joseph Mulhollen really doesn’t compare to any other act I know about. Sure you can say, “that sounds like X” or “this sounds like Y” – but this album is truly unique…problematical, if you will.

Read more at -

""Problematical Animals": Uncontaminated by the Commercial Machine"

Joseph Mulhollen is one of the most creative artists currently around, but he is relatively unknown because of not being on a major label. If you are willing to experiment a little, you owe it to yourself to listen to this artist. Mulhollen creates some of the most beautiful, melodic, absorbing musical sounds-capes I have ever heard recently.

Joseph Mulhollen, who has performed both solo and in bands for over a decade, released his debut “Polar” in 2002, followed by “From Underneath A Nightcap” four years later. After a nearly three year hiatus from music, his recent move to Baltimore ignited his musical renaissance. “Problematical Animals” marks his return to music with a renewed vigor. Mulhollen wrote, played and programmed nearly every instrument on the album.

Mulhollen has shared the stage with Andrew Bird, The Butchies, Bitch, Andy Stochansky, Melissa Ferrick, Rose Polenzani, Edie Carey, Q and not U, Juliette & the Licks. His quirky yet sincere mix of indie-pop and folk will appeal to fans of Sufjan Stevens, Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene) and Grizzly Bear.

On “Problematical Animals”(Scenic Route Records), each of the 16 songs tells the tale of a different animal, its conflict or motive, and draws connections to Mulhollen’s life or lives he’s touched, and without a doubt produces a highly addictive listening experience.

Music critics often agree, that what makes music fanatics thirst for the obscure, is the desire to discover music that is “uncontaminated by the commerce machine.” So, how can there be room for both challenging, forward-thinking music and straight-up accessibility?

Well, the holy grail for fanatics like us, is an album that combines outright experimentation and strong hooks, something that engages us mentally while appealing to the instincts that draw us toward pop immediacy. Some of the best albums ever, have been ones that put these two seemingly disparate elements together. However, this kind of music is hard to come by, as there is just not many artists able or maybe even willing to perfect that balance.

Mulhollen, with this latest release, seems to have achieved that balance, and even made it seem effortless in the process. A sound experience somewhere between Radiohead, Coldplay and the Electric Light Orchestra. On listening to the opening track, “Back To The Cave,” you quickly grasp just how perfectly this album pulls off that balancing act, how incredibly catchy and hummable these songs are, despite their refusal to resort to over-simplicity or blatant pandering.

On moving forward through the tracks, you discover that one of the album’s foremost traits is its contrasting intensity and airy spaciousness. On many of the tracks, the sounds seem to resonate indefinitely, as if played acoustically at maximum volume, atop a towering mountain range and recorded miles away. Yet simultaneously, the album is dense with electronic instrumentation, each part cleverly arranged, and melted together in perfect harmonic unison. Chalk one up for producers Joseph Mulhollen and Alex Champagne, who isolate the key instruments upfront in the mix, capturing all interludes as delicate nuances in an expansive, delicate bed of ethereal sounds that support the traditional guitars, bass, drums and lead vocals.

Rabid electronic-rock anthems are fused with brilliantly laid-back, acoustic tunes that together make one of the most compatible and delightful albums I’ve heard in a long while. If you’re a big fan of richly textured songs that build up, slow down and break out into crushing rhythms, you’ll find the bulk of this recording is made up of songs just like that. Songs that have you nodding your head and humming the whole way through, but at a certain point, just explode into phenomenal rhythmic excursions. My favorite songs on this 16-track album include; “Missing Contact,” “In The Dirt,” “Zenaida,” “We Mark Our Homes,”Hooves And Hips” and “Xerin, Please.”

“Problematical Animals” is another instant indie classic to be added to my growing annual list of ‘must-haves’ and an absolutely essential purchase for anyone that’s even remotely interested in thoughtful, well-crafted pop music. - JamSphere

"Joseph Mulhollen's "Problematical Animals""

Baltimore, Maryland-based indie-pop/folk musician Joseph Mulhollen recently released a full-length album, Problematical Animals, through record label Scenic Route Records. Mulhollen, who has been performing solo and in bands for more than ten years, is no stranger to the indie music scene, and Problematical Animals proves his mettle and experience in the industry.

Problematical Animals is full of melodic, unique layers of sound and rhythm, perfectly blending pop, folk, and even some psychedelic and technological influences. The track “Garbage,” which mixes folk with a sort of ’80s style psychedelic sound with basic folk rhythms, is available for free download through Scenic Route Records.

The 1980s comparison isn’t a new one for Mulhollen, whose unique textures have been seen as a throwback to the best of that decade, combined with a voice that ranges from soaring and indubitable confidence to a more vulnerable, complex lack of self-assurance.

The vocals on Problematical Animals alone are both soaring and haunting, and Mulhollen blends his conversational folk-style with a deliberate pace to create a memorable and almost spooky sound. It’s unforgettable, as the complex melodies and thoughtful lyrics make you feel as though you’re a part of a private, underground performance rather than listening to an album.

Problematical Animals, its title taken from one of Mulhollen’s archaeology classes in college, is a story in and of itself, with each track representing a different animal, its conflicts, and its motives for existence. In existence, each track blends in Mulhollen’s own life, and draws connections to the people he has affected, and the connections he has made throughout his career and life.

From “Back to the Cave,” to the final track on the album, “I Have Seen The Mountains,” Mulhollen blends his love of storytelling with these haunting sounds, and uses his experience smartly. Problematical Animals is, top to bottom, his most significant musical contribution to date, which says quite a bit for a man who has toured with Andrew Bird, The Butchies, Melissa Ferrick, Edie Carey, and other folk and indie-pop mainstays in the past.

Mulhollen will tour in support of Problematical Animals, and bring his unique and quirky sense of style and rhythm from Baltimore to the rest of the country. He’ll surely find a home, too, as he expands from the Baltimore music and night club scene to a wider audience this year.

Problematical Animals is available for digital download from Scenic Route Records through this link, as well as through Sound Cloud here. Additionally, the track “Garbage” is a free download off the album for those wanting more information.

For more information on Joseph Mulhollen, you can visit his official website, or connect with him on Facebook.

- The Levity Ball (Nov. 5, 2012)

"Geek Approved New Music – Dum Dum Girls and Joseph Mulhollen"

Reminiscent of like-minded artists like Andrew Bird and Parenthetical Girls, Mulhollen possesses a tremendously operatic voice. But he’s really come on strong as an inventive composer. Problematical Animals is a gem of an album, one filled with the pain, love and emotion of a true storyteller. -

"Joseph Mulhollen - Problematic Animals Album Review"

"...a lot of energy bursts forth, and the effect is truly compelling." -

"CD Review (From Under a Nightcap)"

Deliberate pace, dynamic voice and haunting tunes. -

"CD Review (Polar)"

… a conversational singing style and an affinity for melody over noise …. sounds like a private parlor performance. - Best of

"Now HEAR This"

The rich textures of Mulhollen's earnest songs have a bit of an '80's flavor... and his voice ranges from soaring confident choruses to a high and vulnerable croon. It's pop music with complex design and operatic ambition. - Baltimore City Paper

"Nine Acts to Catch at Buffalo Infringement Festival"

Experimental pop musician, Joseph Mulhollen, will be in town with his band the Beasts for a couple Infringement dates. The Baltimore based musician is hard to peg down. At times, he resembles Owen Pallet and Andrew Bird with his flair for the theatrics. At other times, he sounds like a more contemplative version of Ra Ra Riot. Then he drops a song like “Garbage” {see below} and I am left at a happy loss. Whatever it is, I like it. You can catch the act and judge for yourself as Mulhollen and crew will be a part of one of the better Infringement showcases, Ethereal Thursday at Karpeles North Hall, at the Manuscript Library next Thursday, the 31st, around 7pm. - Buffalo Blog


A consciousness in itself.

Calling Baltimore home, Joseph & The Beasts champion a compelling harmony of textured vocals, and experimental soundscapes. Pulling from their debut LP, Gold Light (coming out in March 2017), “Tangled Tern” is a promising illustration and craft that succeeds at creating a consciousness for itself.

This dynamic, electronic vista could just as easily been set to the backdrop of an interplanetary voyage. As a yellow, fluidic substance brings holographic models to life during the band’s recording, it becomes difficult to tell whether or not lead man Joseph Mulhollen is in control. Sweeping instrumental flare-ups cap an energized, extraordinary performance.

“Tangled Tern” was directed and edited by Rich Bernett. - Impose


Joseph & the Beasts:

  • Gold Light - March 2017
  • We Don't Seem So Small - EP (2015)

Joseph Mulhollen Solo Recordings:
  • Polar (2002)
  • From Underneath a Nightcap (2006)
  • Problematical Animals (2012)



The brightest stars are the ones bathed in the light of their neighboring suns. Springing from the edge of the eclectic Baltimore music scene and the mind of multi-instrumentalist Joseph Mulhollen, JOSEPH & THE BEASTS traffics in counter-rhythms that build from muted whispers to fevered crescendos, with each movement punctuating the group’s layered soundscapes.

JOSEPH & THE BEASTS builds on Mulhollen’s solo work, which includes 2012’s dense and dynamic “Problematical Animals”, bringing to bear the full weight of the talent that surrounds the Buffalo-native-turned-Baltimorean in his current home. Joined by Alex Champagne, Patrick Edwards and Greg Woodward, the group has toured for over two years in support of the record. It was during this time that the songs began to take on a more collaborative tone, leading to a name change and renewed focus as a band.

The new songs are evocative and alluring in a way that expands upon each listen. A range of instruments highlights each of the group's multi-talented members with frenetic pace. Acoustic and electric guitars build harmonies over pulsating bass and drums, synths, samplers and effected vocals.

Mulhollen’s own passion is transformative and infecting – a trait that’s readily evident and shared by every member. Shifts in time give way to sprawling valleys of fuzz-drenched keyboards, before soaring vocals erupt into a fervor-filled maelstrom. Each new musical texture tells its own story and carries with it a clear sensation – a perfect construction of acoustic monuments over an electronic landscape.

Band Members