Written by Erica Andreozzi
So glad to have discovered the soulful sounds of music producer and multi-instrumentalist, Josh Jacobson, =at Cafe du Nord last month as part of a free show won via Do The Bay. Having been raised in upstate New York (Ithaca) on a sturdy foundation of musical roots (his parents were musicians), Josh found a strong foothold in various genres ranging from classical and jazz to soul, R&B, and electronic. I was incredibly impressed by Josh’s ability to cultivate complex cinematic soundscapes just via his raw musical talent and loop pedal mastery (seriously – I told him to check out Tash Sultana who I figured he might also really respect). Within one song you could watch him jump from keys, to percussion, to guitar, to synthesizer, to vocals, and still wonder how he is able to weave it altogether into one cohesive musical masterpiece. Although some of his track have hints of Sohn, Allan Rayman, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Imogen Heap and Jack Garret (turns out he’s friends with Kevin Garrett) they all had a unique Josh Jacobson JOSHUA TREE branding unlike any others. In fact, Josh created his own record label (Joshua Tree Records) just last year to pioneer “a new platform for music and art that celebrates individuality and a mindful approach to life.” He said it was in part inspired by Joshua Tree national park, which to him symbolized a place to wander with the eager eyes of a child and escape the captivity that sometimes accompanies adult life. That perspective reminded me of a recent quote I came across: “The things that’s totally different between children and adult, is that children have the ability to spontaneously use their imagination to forget what’s bothering them and be inspired by every lil’ thing that crosses their path.” ❤
Josh had himself tethered to the crowd from the beginning, and thus it could not be more fitting that he would play a song called ‘Tethered,’ a song that is “at its core a song about coming to terms with the fact that even the most meaningful connections can be temporary” and the we must “learn to live in a state of constant flux.” Ain’t that the truth.
‘Tethered,’ along with ‘Polaroids,’ ‘Fence,’ ‘I Need You,’ and ‘Return,’ (most of which he played that night) can all be found on his awesome debut EP, ‘First Light,’ which was released in Sept 2017 and motivated his first national headline tour in early 2018. My favorite tracks of the set were ‘Koyo‘ and ‘Oceans,’ the first of which (video below) Josh introduced as a track he wrote deep in the woods under complete solitude. The layers of stunning harp that he loops throughout just simply SLAY, and I almost feel as if I’m walking through a magical forest someone in the jungle. Perfect example of a MUSICAL ESCAPE. ‘Oceans‘ also exerted a strong grip, pulling us into its sweet, sparkling undertow of swirling keys just right before crashing into us like a wave at the (the vocal part that drops in at 4:50 is such a rush!). Last but not least, Josh won over our hearts even more with two gorgeous, bone-chilling covers of Little Dragon‘s ‘Twice’ (one of my favorites) and Amy Winehouse‘s ‘Valery.’ He definitely added his own personal stamp in ‘Twice‘ with stunning harp sounds layered in between his sultry, soulful vocals. I still getting chills watching this over again! Can’t wait for him to return! SUCH A KILLER SHOW ❤ 🙂