Album Review: Josh Rouse – The Embers Of Time

GZ LP 3mm spine


Josh Rouse releases The Embers Of Time on April 6th on Yep Roc records, produced by Brad Jones (Justin Townes Earle). This at a time when he’s venturing around the UK on a headline tour. Rouse himself is a traveller; Nebraska born, with a nomadic childhood taking in various US states – he now resides in Spain!

Rouse describes his ten song collection of originals as his “surreal expat therapy record”. The Embers Of Time takes inspiration from his self-admitted crisis of confidence and bouts of existential psychotherapy, in his adopted home of Valencia, Spain. There are sketches of Spain on this album, as well as nods to Nashville; the album being recorded in both. Rouse’s personal history and heartache and hope flicker like embers on this, his cathartic release.

The opener, Some Days I’m Golden All Night is the first single and burns nicely. Too Many Things On My Mind is a quiet fireside companion, echoes of Paul Simon. New Young contains wonderful mouth organ melodies combined with a lyrical lament for the country. You Walked Through The Door would make an excellent single too; it chugs along like a train on the tracks and seems certain it’ll arrive at the station on time.

Half-way and we reach Time, which is the weakest link on the record. It’s fairly plain. Pheasant Feather more than makes up for this – such beautiful music featuring Jessie Baylin. Another contender for a single. Coat For A Pillow is bluesy, whilst J R Worried Blues sees the styles of Dylan meet Waylon Jennings. Ex-Pat Blues is a little dreary, but the sparkling Crystal Falls echoes Lou Reed with a sense of humour!

Overall, good therapy for the listener too.

Mark Watkins


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