Tom Joshua takes the reality of the every day and turns it into something beautiful on his EP Undergrowth. In a sonic love letter to his North East roots, he picks up tiny fragments of life that are overlooked, forgotten or undervalued and shines a light on them. Each track on the EP evokes a memory or emotion linked to things that are never far from home. While touching on his own life, the EP is relatable as we all have things that we tend to overlook.
Since his debut single released in 2017, Joshua has been gaining fans with his musicality and lyrical skills. His ability to transport listeners to another place and fill them with warmth will get you hooked to his sound if you are not already.
You are gently led into the EP by the piano opening of ‘Cinema’. The melody of the track is relatively minimalistic and creates a sense of quiet moments. Joshua’s vocals flow over these moments and fill you with nostalgia. His performance makes you think of those places that don’t change over the years but fill you with a sense of peace each time you see them. The melody does pick up as the song progresses for a more encompassing sound that soars with the vocals.
‘Knock on a Hollow’ offers a completely different vibe with the more vibrant melody. The opening beats get your head moving to them while Joshua’s vocals are more grounded than in the first track. When the chorus hits, the song swings into anthemic territory as you soar into the stratosphere. There is a buoyant feeling to the melody which is matched by the lively vocals. The engaging beats of the track meld with the lyrics to send you into the story of the song.
The title track ‘Undergrowth’ brings an intimate feeling with the opening vocals. There is a dreamy feeling to this song from the shuffling beats to the delicate vocals. The song takes a turn for the chorus which pounds through you and pumps you full of more energetic pop vibes. The movement between the flowing verses and the punchy chorus is perfect and smooth. While the lyrics have a very specific narrative, there is a thread of relatability lurking in the lower levels of the track.
The EP ends with ‘This Still Life’ which draws you in with an expansive and beautiful piano line. There are popping beats in the background that add a sense of breathing to the melody. Over the piano-led opening, Joshua’s voice is rich yet soft. It is like something will break if he were to be any louder and this is a sense that many can relate to. This is perhaps the best display on the EP of his musicality and mastery of musical arrangement.
Tom Joshua shines a light on the tiny fragments of life we often overlook in the beautiful EP Undergrowth. Each track looks at a different moment in life and fills you with a sense of their beauty. The swing between styles showcases his musical prowess and will have you wanting more.