Who is Josh Small? I have no idea, but I do know that his album, Tall, has really impressed me. Josh sings folk songs. He sings folk songs and he sounds like he's invested five years into creating a gravelly voices that can only come from thirty-five years of drinking whiskey and smoking a pack a day. It's rough, but captivating; the roughness works well, especially with his primary instrument being the banjo. To make things even slightly more complex, his voice is quite angelic, recalling Jim James' sweet syrupy Southern croon. Fortunately, Josh Small never apes James' style; his sound is uniquely his own. Nor does he ever fall victim to an overbearing hick accent--there's nothing more unattractive is a singer who forces a fake accent. While one might say he sings folk songs or country songs, listening to "Say Hello" and "Move Your Hips," it becomes rather apparent that he's singing pop songs. My personal favorite is "Arc de Triumph," a slight ballad that has a wonderful tempo change, as you'll hear below. Tall is a quiet, unassuming record that's worth seeking out.
Listen To: "Say Hello"
Listen To: "Arc de Triumph"
Tall is available now on Suburban Home Records
Labels: josh small, record reviews s, suburban home