Somewhere lost in a sea of thoughts and feelings I put on the latest Josh Eagle record and drifted off to some place only left in my dreams. It was comforting. The record was calming. The electricity eased my weary mind. The gravel in Josh’s throat was soothing. The album felt like a meditation. I’m no Buddhist, nor do I pretend to be one, but the listening experience of this felt something akin to a moment of Zen. My mind travelled to all kinds of places. The song “I’ll Be There for You” brought me out to the desert and its winds. "Hallow’s Eve" brought me to the fall and dropped me into some New York City neighborhood.
I drifted through places and met characters while all along the soundtrack was “Clockwork Radio.” I have no idea what the intent of this record was, most likely it was to make some good art whatever that means to the listener and maker. That’s me assuming though. However, falling through adventures while sober mind you, and at work was a nice respite.
When albums do this, I take solace in them. Notes for the album that I jotted down were stuff like, good song, or pleasant listen, meanwhile it was the journey I was going on within myself that seemed like the best thing to write about. Although the note “steel drums, nice” is probably my favorite. And if I were writing for some indie / punk rock / fan zine I would sum up my review of Josh’s record with simply that “Steel Drums, Nice.” However, I don’t write for that fanzine, so we are stuck with my rambling notations after listening to the record for the third time.
I can’t help through the listening experience to think of love. Pure and simple. Not to love and to lose, but the warmth of love that comes from the simplicity of living life. Nothing more and nothing less. Finding and falling in love. All of this while I found myself roaming in NYC streets and New Mexico deserts. It’s also just nice to hear the band again. Jeremy Smart has an uncanny knack for accentuating and letting his guitar spill out the punctuation marks to words being sung. Of words being sung, Josh’s voice shines on a song “Sing to Me.” It’s a song that felt effortless in the breath of each note being sung. Something that leading up to the song in the sequence I was not expecting yet somehow when it came on felt like it should absolutely be there. “Another good song,” was my note for this.
While going through thousands of miles within forty-seven minutes of run time at the sound of the last note it felt refreshing. When Josh and I first talked about me reviewing the record I had already listened to it, and the feeling I had then was the same as I had now refreshed. And I have no idea what that means, or if it is even relevant. The album let me put the pen down for a second and just listen. Not let, forced me. I didn’t need to take notes, but I did. And, that to me is the sign of a great record.
On a final note, Josh enlisted the following to play on the album:
Mark Becknell: drums
Dusty Bryant: Keys
Jeremy Smart: guitar
Tommy Cappel: bass and guitar.
Please go check out the album. In times such as these spend some time with music. Turn your stereo up and take a listen.