Josh Herring’s debut album And Everyone, out on the 21st of June is a beautifully considered collection of contemporary folk songs akin to the likes of Julia Holter, Sufjan Stevens and Patrick Watson.
And Everyone is an album made up of songs written from 2017-18, whilst living in Birmingham, on an upright piano overlooking Edgbaston Reservoir. “To begin with I never imagined the songs would work together on an album, but then hearing them all together, I realised they were all part of the same narrative.”
The album is about real people, relationships, struggles, communication and responsibility. The title track And Everyone is about a yearning to look at everyone as equals. “I want to walk in to a room and look at everyone. Not just the people I fancy, or the ones I don’t like the look of, or the ones I want to talk to, but everyone”
This will be Josh Herring’s debut album, following an EP titled Yes/No released in September last year. He recorded both the EP and the album in a studio in Birmingham’s Kings Heath with producer and friend Luke Morrish-Thomas. “I was blessed to be surrounded by amazing musicians, willing to record for a few hours in exchange for a couple of pints”.
The album contains rich and mysterious string arrangements, powerful and groovy horns, fat drums and crunchy guitars, to accompany Josh’s ‘simple but not simple’ songs. Josh meanders his way around often irregular melodies and longer phrase lengths to create familiar, but haunting songs that stick with you and allow you to think, to dance, to see and to love.
Josh saw and understood to power of making music together through his work with The Choir with No Name for people affected by homelessness and working with prisoners with Choirs Beating Time. He reﬂects this in his work and live performances, often including audiences in the performance with percussion instruments and singing simple refrains.
“Singing together, regardless of how good you are at it has this ability to just, make you feel better! I looked forward to going to prison and to The Choir with No Name every week because I could feel the transformative power of singing together in action – no matter what I was feeling before I came, I would always feel 100 times better after.”
down the wire
This is the debut single Down the Wire, taken from the album And Everyone by Josh Herring. With a gravelly Tom Waits-esque arrangement and Josh’s honest, narrative lyrics, this is a contemporary break up song about using technology as a substitute for courage; because it’s easier to say mean things in a text than it is to say sorry to someone’s face.
Down the Wire is one persons rage with their ex parter, who never said sorry for cheating. After witnessing a member of his family undergo the grim reality of discovering an unfaithful spouse and the messy divorce process that follows, Josh was compelled to write this song. It’s for everyone who has ever been screwed over by their partner, and made to feel like the wrong doer because of our inability to confront our responsibility and talk to someone face to face with empathy and mutual respect. “Technology allows us to hide behind a literal and ﬁgurative screen, brushing off responsibility and making up whatever narratives suits us best. It allows us to be brave without actually being it, to be authoritative without actually having it, and manipulative, because it’s so much easier to lie if you don’t have to do it to someone’s face.” Josh says.
Originally written on ukulele, this song evolved in to a gritty folk song with heavy distorted guitar, trashy drum ﬁlls, sleazy saxophone and saloon style piano. With Josh’s folk singer style playing the role of the storyteller, he is sharing a light with the listener and offering a cathartic release.