Bringin’ it Backwards: Interview with Joshua Radin

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We had the pleasure of interviewing Joshua Radin over Zoom video! 

A song subdues and soothes even the roughest seas. After sixteen years, eight albums, and hundreds of shows, Joshua Radin still treats music as an antidote to any ailment. The gold-selling, Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter finds healing in between waves of acoustic eloquence and dyed-in-the-wool Americana storytelling. On his ninth full-length TheGhost And The Wall [Nettwerk], the troubadour continues a cycle of catharsis meant to be shared among any and all receptive hearts.

Since 2004, he’s affected countless listeners with palpable transparency. As a result, he’s sold over 1 million records, generated 1 billion-plus total streams, and garnered a gold plaque for the single “I’d Rather Be With You.” Landing north of 150 film, television, and commercial syncs, his voice courses throughout the zeitgeist. Among many highlights, First Ladies Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden personally handpicked “Brand New Day” for a commercial in support of the troops. In addition to memorable performances on Ellen, The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Conan, and Today Show, he famously serenaded avowed super fan Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi during their wedding. Beyond sold out headline shows on four continents, he has also performed alongside Ed Sheeran, Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Sheryl Crow, Tori Amos, Imogen Heap, and The Script. Plus, he remains a committed philanthropist, supporting charities such as Little Kids Rock and North Shore Animal League America (NSALA), among others.

After returning home from a European Tour in support of his 2019 album Here, Right Now, Joshua initially planned to hunker down, write, and record a new album.

Nevertheless, the circumstances of the Global Pandemic complicated the plan…

That’s where producer Jonathan Wilson [Father John Misty, Conor Oberst, Dawes] comes in. One 30-minute phone conversation later, Joshua and Jonathan set about making The Ghost And The Wall remotely. Despite both being in Southern California, they opted to transfer files back and forth, crafting the entire record through the wire. Jonathan laid down the instrumentation in Topanga Canyon, and Josh cut vocals in the Hollywood Hills. Within a month, they had completed ten tracks.

He paves the way for the album with the single “Better Life.” Over understated acoustic guitar, lilting vocals detail the journey of “an immigrant coming to this country and seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time. Folk-style picking and hushed delivery relay the anxiety of the search for “the one” on “Make It Easy.”

Then, there’s “Fewer Ghosts.” A personal favorite, Joshua comes to an eye-opening realization cemented in confessional lyrics and soft tones.

In the end, Joshua finds a way to heal once again on The Ghost And The Wall.

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