While countless artists are choosing to postpone their releases during Coronavirus in attempts to consider sensitivity, singer-songwriter Joshua Hyslop is doing the opposite. His latest single reflects hope and the need to persevere through struggles, an idea he finds comforting during this time.
“I wrote ‘Gentle Heart’ for a friend who was going through a rough time. He was talking about moving forward even though it felt hopeless because hope is always there, and that really inspired me,” Hyslop told American Songwriter. “To me, this song is about persisting in the face of difficulties even when they seem insurmountable. I had no idea we would be facing a global pandemic before it was released. The idea of holding onto hope even when it may feel far away is even more applicable now and it’s my wish that this song could bring some peace and comfort to anyone who’s feeling hopeless. Even though we may feel alone, we’re in this together.”
“Gentle Heart” is the newest offering and the single preceding Hyslop’s forthcoming album Ash & Stone, which is out July 10. The singer-songwriter currently released the EP Embers and track “Behind The Light” which quickly garnered an impressive 1.3 million Spotify plays, making a busy 2020 for the songwriter.
The single instantly offers comfort, through it’s encouraging lyrics that act like a warm blanket or a dear friend’s embrace. Adding contrast is the country twang of the pedal steel guitar wavering in the background, adding a somber tone for a narrative turned around by the promising words: ‘May you find your heart next to mine/for we found hope in a hopeless time/ oh gentle heart/simple soul/there is so much left to know/so plant your seeds and watch them grow/ keep on moving on down the road’.
“Gentle Heart” was recorded at Afterlife Studios in Vancouver, BC in summer of 2019 with producer and collaborator John Raham during the process of Ash & Stone, which features new palettes of instrumentation including horns, synths and pedal steel guitar.
Hyslop made a name for himself through his down-to-earth shows often played at fans and friend’s houses. He then followed up with tours spanning Europe and North America promoting his three previous full-lengths; Where The Mountain Meets the Valley from 2012, In Deepest Blue from 2015 and the 2018 release of Echos. Together the releases provided over 200 million streams across the globe and landed Hyslop press from Earlmilk, Exclam! and NPR.