ALBUM PREMIERE: Joshua Radin Showcases Dyed-in-the-wool Americana Storytelling with ‘The Ghost and the Wall’

Joshua Radin, Photo by Catie Laffoon

A song subdues and soothes even the roughest seas. After sixteen years, eight albums, and hundreds of shows, Joshua Radin still treats music as an antidote to any ailment. The gold-selling, Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter finds healing in between waves of acoustic eloquence and dyed-in-the-wool Americana storytelling. On his ninth full-length The Ghost And The Wall [Nettwerk] (due out this Friday, July 23rd), the troubadour continues a cycle of catharsis meant to be shared among any and all receptive hearts.

Since 2004, he’s affected countless listeners with palpable transparency. As a result, he’s sold over 1 million records, generated 1 billion-plus total streams, and garnered a gold plaque for the single “I’d Rather Be With You.” Landing north of 150 film, television, and commercial syncs, his voice courses throughout the zeitgeist. Among many highlights, First Ladies Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden personally handpicked “Brand New Day” for a commercial in support of the troops. In addition to memorable performances on Ellen, The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Conan, and Today Show, he famously serenaded avowed super fan Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi during their wedding. Beyond sold out headline shows on four continents, he has also performed alongside Ed Sheeran, Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Sheryl Crow, Tori Amos, Imogen Heap, and The Script. Plus, he remains a committed philanthropist, supporting charities such as Little Kids Rock and North Shore Animal League America (NSALA), among others.

After returning home from a European Tour in support of his 2019 album Here, Right Now, Joshua initially planned to hunker down, write, and record a new album.

Nevertheless, the circumstances of the Global Pandemic complicated the plan…

“I was sort of mentally prepared to be locked away—just not like this,” he laughs. “While I was working on ideas, I thought, ‘How am I going to record? All of the studios are shut down. I don’t have a home studio, and I’m not really a producer’.

That’s where producer Jonathan Wilson [Father John Misty, Conor Oberst, Dawes] comes in. One 30-minute phone conversation later, Joshua and Jonathan set about making The Ghost And The Wall remotely. Despite both being in Southern California, they opted to transfer files back and forth, crafting the entire record through the wire. Jonathan laid down the instrumentation in Topanga Canyon, and Josh cut vocals in the Hollywood Hills. Within a month, they had completed ten tracks.

Today Glide is excited to premiere Joshua’s fantastic new album The Ghost And The Wall ahead of its release this Friday. Beginning with the album’s first song, you are immediately hit with the power and poignancy of Joshua’s atmospheric indie folk. His songs and compositions are beautiful, sad and hopeful all at once, and we are given lush instrumentation to complement rich songwriting with a kind of lived-in depth and wisdom that lingers long after listening. Of course, there are themes that resonate throughout the album such as loneliness, relationships, breakups, and reconciliation. All of these culminate into one cohesive body of work that may be Joshua’s strongest work to date. Jumping from more reflective and melancholy moments to more upbeat and bright, Joshua presents a musical contrast that is at once critical and overly hopeful, which is a sentiment most of us can identify with now as we emerge into our post-pandemic lives. Though he clearly finds inspiration from harmonized folk singers of the 70s, Joshua also carves out a sound that is entirely his own with The Ghost And The Wall. This isn’t Americana or roots music or even specifically folk, but rather music for thinking and moving forward. 

Joshua Radin describes the process behind the album:

“When the world shut down, I retreated into myself as so many of us who live alone did. After about a month, I started asking myself one question: Did the women from my past become ghosts in my life because of the wall I had up around me, or did I construct this wall and fortify it each time one of them became a ghost? This album is basically me trying to answer what I have come to realize will be a lifelong query…” 

LISTEN:

Photo by Catie Laffoon

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