Daily Discovery: Joshua Hyslop, “The Flood”


Videos by American Songwriter

ARTIST: Joshua Hyslop

SONG: “The Flood”

HOMETOWN: Abbotsford


AMBITIONS: To only ever write and release music I believe in and to write a book.

TURN-OFFS: When people say things like “totes jelly,” when they mean “totally jealous.” It causes my hope for humanity to dwindle. Also, traffic.

TURN-ONS: Star Wars, 4-6.

DREAM GIG: I don’t know. There’s a lot of people I’d love to play with and a lot of shows I’ve played that have felt like a dream. But getting to play music full-time is a dream gig. I used to dream about becoming an astronaut. So, I guess combining the two would really be the ultimate thing.

FAVORITE LYRIC: I don’t think I have a favorite lyric. I have songs that inspire me and musical moments that can hit me pretty hard, but sometimes, especially with my own lyrics, words that I loved yesterday don’t affect me at all today and vice versa. But, if that’s a cop-out and I have to pick something, I’d say Robert Plant singing about The Lord of the Rings. That’s just amazing.

SONG I WISH I WROTE: “Kathy’s Song” by Paul Simon, or “A Case of You” by Joni Mitchell, OR “99 Problems” by Jay-Z.

5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: My friend Joel who lives in Montreal, my friend Neil who lives in the UK, my friend Santosh who lives in India, my adopted Aunt (and her family) who live near Ottawa, and Denzel Washington.

MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: Seeing Radiohead in Vancouver. It had been raining pretty hard and near the end of the show they played “Paranoid Android.” While they were singing the lyrics, “rain down, from a great height” the whole crowd sang along. We were getting completely soaked. It was magic.

I WROTE THIS SONG BECAUSE… I was going through a period in my life that felt a lot like a downward spiral and I was feeling pretty helpless. I wanted to write about how I felt, but it was hard to get motivated to do anything, really. I ended up spending around nine hours fighting with myself to stay focused and wrote this song. It sort of breathed new life into me and got me moving again.

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Craig Finn