My name is Kyle.
I am a snob.
It is my goal and my distinct pleasure to have the opportunity to use this snobbery to your advantage. I will be bringing you what I consider the best of the best of the things I love. Movies, music, comics, and anything else that comes across my browser are fair game.
My aim is simple: I want to introduce you to the best self-made bands, film makers, artists, and authors from all over the world. I am going to bring you the best of the world of Indie and creator-owned entertainment.
I have one further goal for IAM Indie: I want the things I share with you to be free. I want you to be able to consume them without any direct cost. Many of these artists and creators don’t do what they do for the money. Their art is their passion it is what they love to do.
When they ask for a donation or support and If you like something of theirs, I implore you to give what you can so that good products can keep coming out from great people.
The Beautiful Machine that is Josh Woodward
In the history of making your own thing a few people stand above the rest. One of the greatest among these is Josh Woodward. Starting with his first release in 2004’s Here Today, Josh Woodward has turned out 11 albums in the last 10 years and his music has been downloaded more than 6.5 million times. I first became was exposed to Josh Woodward in 2009 when he was recommend to me by a friend who had heard him play in a coffee shop near where I live. He quickly became one of my favorite artists.
Woodward has a lot going for him. Every song on every album is a product of his hard work. Nothing happens if he doesn’t make it happen: He acts as a full band by playing every instrument and singing each vocal. Additionally, he takes on the role of studio engineer and producer. While making his newest release, The Beautiful Machine, Woodward also made “VideoSongs”: Music videos for each of the album’s tracks, documenting their production.
What immediately drew me to Josh Woodward’s music were the lyrics.Brutally honest, often dark or heavy, and sometimes even humorous, Woodward’s lyrics find a home among legends like Paul Simon but with some Weird Al sprinkled in.
The Beautiful Machine is Woodward’s latest offering. The collection is an eclectic mix of genres hovering around the pop and folk rock mainstays that make up his music. In an album of highlights, a few stick out as signature tracks. The first song on the record, California Lullabye, is a strong pop rock track with tight harmonies and an up-tempo, up-beat melody. All this encompasses a sometimes dark but incredibly relatable love song.
Songs like She Lost Her Wings and Branches are slower than the often driving pop and folk rock side of the album. This lets the emotion and feeling of the lyrics to hit the listener right where they live.
“From seed, sunk
We grew up like a tree trunk
But your branch and mine
They split and climbed apart
But we still share a single heart
If you peel away the bark”
Airplane Mode, which is perhaps the most punk on this album, shines a light on the things that are an everyday distraction. The song serves as a reminder that, sometimes, you need to live in the moment.
The Beautiful Machine is not without Josh’s signature humor. Bags of Water is the kind of song I needed growing up when I lacked confidence and felt small. This song feels like something you would teach the children in your life…
…then, you listen to the lyrics. It hits you that maybe this feels like a kids song, but is definitely too dark for them to sing at school.
The last track on The Beautiful Machine is called The Dreamers. It seems to me that this is Josh’s ballad to people like himself. It’s a beautiful tribute to those who tread their own path.
The Beautiful Machine is a great example of Josh Woodward’s brilliance. The album uses melody and lyricism to force an introspective look. The lesson is to remember that there is more to things than we think sometimes.
Step back and take it in.
I encourage you to check out The Beautiful Machine as well as all of Josh’s work. As always you can buy all of his music there or download it for free.
I want to make this column about things you want to hear so please let me know what genres you would like to find out more about. If there is an artist out there you think I should know, let me know and maybe they will wind up featured here.
Until next time.
Kyle N. can be contacted on Twitter @ConversionBox or BackLogAdventures@gmail.com.