Tuesday 23 July 2013

Josh Record - The War EP

EP review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk

There's generally something about modern soul music that differentiates it from those classic names from the past, and this something is often an over reliance on slick, disgusting production and needless vocal acrobatics. If classic soul was the sound of the human heart then much modern soul is more like a mannequin. You can dress it up all you like but its vital organs are missing. Londoner Josh Record caught our ear with his recent 'Bones' EP which he now follows up with new record, 'The War'. This is a clean and well-produced record, but not overly so, thus giving the songs room to breathe and to express themselves, and while Record can clearly sing, he doesn't feel the need to go over the top. Fundamentally, this is an EP about the songs, not about the ego and the trickery.

This is encapsulated perfectly on the spacious title-track with it's reverby guitar line and a voice that conveys actual emotion. Besides that there's some occasional booming percussion and that's it, because that's all that's needed. The soul is bared again on 'House', a song that uses the same ingredients that made 'The War' work but it does so without seeming repetitive and is perhaps even more grand and moving. Breaking from this format a little is 'Common Folly' which, for the most part, strips the song back, relying solely on Record's voice to put forward the required feeling, although it does gradually build to be a close relative of the opening tracks. It turns out that Josh Record has perfected this way of creating music, so much so that a four track EP with all the songs being of the same pace actually works perfectly where in other hands it would be monotonous. This is proven on final track 'Skin'. Now all Josh Record needs is for the word to spread, and then he could really be on to something.

Josh Record's website

Buy the EP

Catch him live:

SAT 27 JUL Secret Garden Party, Huntingdon, UK
WED 07 AUG The Slaughtered Lamb, London, UK
SAT 10 AUG Boardmasters Festival, Newquay, UK

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