Midwesterner Joshua James, hails from Lincoln, Nebraska. His melodic layered sound has been described as “a voice as sun-bleached and wind-battered as a Nebraska cornfield.”
On The Sun Is Always Brighter things start off feeling pretty happy with rollicking piano and honeysuckle vocals on “The New Love Song.” The addition of sweeping organ keys join in, making things dangerously close to perfect. “Soul and The Sea” comes along with more airy, drifting melodies, the music calling to mind visions of open skies and star lit nights, and yet James, himself, proclaims his music is not love songs. “The world doesn’t need another love song, so I try to sing about more serious topics.”
“Geese” exemplifies a reverent nature as James pines about our environment with lines like, “The trees served as my refuge, and dark taught me to fear.” Simplistic guitar carries the torch on “FM Radio,” and again as “Today” starts off and builds with acrescendo of cymbals and the light touch of keys.
Open and honest, James takes on personal conflict with “Lord, Devil and Him” and lets out a political rant with “Our Brother’s Blood.” The addition of Mike Delay on pedal steel for “Dangerous” possibly makes it the best track on the album, providing a stark, lonely and cold feeling to James echoing soul.
The Sun is Always Brighter is out now on Intelligent Noise.