Joshua James | My Spirit Sister | Review


Submitted by -Beth Parness Fri, 04/14/2017 - 9:40 am

Joshua James doesn’t just bare his feelings in his new album “My Spirit Sister”, he weaves an eggshell-fragile sonic tapestry of catharsis and craftsmanship. This is an album brimming with plaintive and personal truths that often seem too difficult and painful to comfortably share. Joshua James reedy signature vocals, angular and uncertain, invite the listener's attention like a sensitive and very embarrassing scar, sneaking into the psyche by the back door.

Broken Tongue, is a solitary sojourn into wide open spaces, exploring new expressive territory, examining and reassembling fragments of fever-dream imagery detailing real and metaphysical loss. Real Love resonates with a stripped down minimalist atmospheric droning backed by a retro Duane Eddy-esque guitar riff, creating an expressionist ghostly ambiance. Millie is a sublime heartbreaker of a song about the incipient birth of a new baby, accompanied by the eternal verities and emotional gravitas associated with such an event, compounded by regret, trepidation, disappointment, even heartbreak, and yet it remains poignantly hopeful.  Blackbird Sorrow is a glorious and darkly graceful, lyrical jewel.  This is an album that delivers both mood and melancholy.

"My Spirit Sister" is a well-produced album, the 6th self-produced album by Joshua James, and although utilizing ample reverb, is understated and elegant in its approach. He is well supported by musicians, Evan Coulombe - guitar, Isaac Russell - bass, and Timmy George - drums.