Joshua - "Gold Cosmos"
(Feather One's Nest 2001, fon-003)
From Aural Innovations #19 (April 2002)
The music on this album is essentially acoustic in total yet it omits very dark overtones from within the songs themselves. The ambience that they create, the atmospheres that they give, drive the overall sound away from the formulas used in the tradition and onto another level. That is what I like about the style that Joshua has evolved into his own.
Joshua is based in Western Massachusetts and brings a fresh slant to what has gone on before. The Gold Cosmos to me seems to draw influence from a number of different hosts, all are held in the realm of acoustic folk yet there is another side to his music that breathes from the Psychedelic, and together the merging is somewhat haunting whilst always being mellow, and almost darkened. The names of similarity that spring to mind are only relevant in the song and style content, but there are interesting places that offer a lot more than these people in other ways. Firstly I hear heavy strains of Nick Drake throughout; Joshua has a darkened side that reminds me very much of his song and vocal style. I can also hear slight wisps of Donovan from HMS Donovan, not in style but rather in magical feel. Some things are quite Pink Floyd from the album More and the atmos flows with that vibe, while certain guitar parts remind me of Bert Jansch and Jackson C Frank. But they are not as prominent as the Nick Drake feel. By the way this album is dedicated to Jackson C Frank, just out of interest! If you know who he is?
The songs are slow and invoking to the ear, the background ambience overcomes the mind to listen intently to the motions of the pieces. There are 14 of these pieces in all and the album runs for just over 40 minutes, giving a pleasant mellow journey accompanied by a lot of different instruments. Joshua collaborates on this venture with several other musicians to produce a very earthy sounding indulgence into the strange and wonderful world of psychedelic acoustic music.
If you are interested in mainly acoustic music with an interesting slant, Joshua might be a name you should check out. I would love to hear others, as I liked this one a lot. His use of acoustic instruments are all played with quality and passion and the songs flow with a mellowness. For I do like folk music that is played well, and this album is. Also take time to read Doug Pearson's review about him in Aural Innovations Issue 14, January 2001.
For more information you can email Joshua at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feather One's Nest; c/o Mystery Train; 12 N Pleasant; Amherst, MA 01002.
Reviewed by Albert Pollard