Joshua Radin Delves Into the Fear of Intimacy on New Album

Joshua Radin, a tremendously successful songwriter, joins Michael Franti’s Stay Human podcast for an in-depth conversation on Radin’s career, achievements, and newest album The Ghost and the Wall. 

Looking back on Radin’s relationship with music, he explains that becoming a songwriter wasn’t necessarily something he expected. Writing songs didn’t come naturally to Radin until he started messing around on the guitar trying to answer questions that were poking at him. 

“I was trying to be a screenwriter and it was so frustrating. I’d lose myself in a scene or something and I couldn’t think about what some character was going to say next or what was going to happen. I would pick up the guitar and just kind of learn a chord and strum and get my mind out of it, then invariably I’d figure out what I wanted to say. Very quickly, that little meditative hobby became the medium. Maybe this sounds weird, but the universe maybe wanted me to be working with that rather than with a paintbrush,” he says. “This is the first thing I ever tried where the audience came to me. I just fell into it.” 

In this way, music for him is an endless attempt at “searching” and his newest album is no different.  

“This album I wrote in lockdown in L.A. in my house. I live alone and it got super lonely and I was like, ‘Alright, I’m going to look within, I’m going to try to answer this question.’ So, I’ve always had a terrible fear of intimacy—letting people in whether it’s romantic relationships, platonic, filial, or parental. I tried to figure out with this album which came first, like a chicken or the egg kind of question. Which came first, was I born with walls up around myself and that’s why people in my life became ghosts? Or did people in my life early on become ghosts and let me down and leave, and it fortified this wall? That’s what I kind of set out to try to figure out by writing this album. That’s what I do,” Radin explains. 

Just like the rest of his music, The Ghost and the Wall is an intimate look into Radin’s world. His natural tendency towards authenticity and vulnerability is a trait in his writing that has allowed him to resonate with millions.


Throughout the rest of the conversation, they talk about COVID, Radin’s placements, growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, his creative process, and much more. Check it out on Stay Human.

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