Incorporating elements of Electronic, Dance, Indie and Pop, Josha creates breathtaking, synth heavy soundscapes across his music and really finds groove on the new album ‘Awake’. Released fresh off the back of recent collaborations with big names including Armin van Buuren, Eelke Kleijn and Quentyn, Josha is riding high and the new album demonstrates some of his most expansive, inspired work.
Opening with the hopeful, airy intro ‘Strong’, Josha uses sampled spoken word to talk about coming out of the pandemic over a dreamy wash of synths and a four to the floor beat setting an upbeat tone for the album ahead of the punchy, catchy ‘Fighting For’.
A track which immediately demonstrates Josha’s ability to write catchy vocal lines as well as he does awe-inspiring soundscapes ‘Fighting For’ is followed by the stand out and equally impactful lead single ‘Close To Me’. Across both tracks, the use of swelling synths lines, plucky guitar and thick electronic bass create a warm lining under Josha’s velvety, falsetto vocal delivery creating a soundscape instantly comparable to M83 with an element of Bonobo for good measure.
Elsewhere on the album, tracks such as ‘Closer’ and ‘Circles’ show Josha’s ability to bring together elements of EDM whilst remaining restrained and musically complex enough to be considered much more than just dance music. Josha shows no fear in allowing the music to speak for itself on these tracks, not relying on conventional structures and instead letting his vocals become another instrument, a part of the music as a whole. This approach is really effective in giving the albums sound originality and building it’s euphoric, otherworldly nature.
Taking a slower, more thoughtful approach to ‘Alive’ and ‘Yesterday’, the album is given a breather from the beat heavy tracks found earlier on the album and moves into a section more comparable to Thom Yorke/ Atoms For Peace. Melancholic and personal, this point in the album see’s Josha in a more reflective, pensive state of mind while ‘No Excuses’ emphasises the experimental elements of Josha’s instrumentation as he utilises layers of modulation and plucky arpeggiators.
Closing with the stunning instrumental ‘Awake’ Josha closes out the album with a hazy, giant, Blade Runner-sequel piece of Electronic music that really doubles down on Josha’s immense ability as a producer and ability to use synthesised elements to make emotional and effecting music.
A stunning listen which shows a lot of thought, care and obviously passion ‘Awake’ is a stunner. Despite its giant production and layers of effects, the warming heart of the album and Josha Daniel’s amazing ability as a musician shines.