Joshua Burnside: Into the Depths of Hell – a singular Northern Irish talent

Fri, Aug 28, 2020, 05:45

   
  

Album:
Into the Depths of Hell

Artist:
Joshua Burnside

Label:
Attic Thing Records

Genre:
Singer / Songwriter

Joshua Burnside’s debut album, Ephrata, won the Northern Ireland Music Prize in 2017. The second album from the Lisburn born and Belfast based songwriter conclusively proves that his early success certainly wasn’t a flash in the pan. 

As the title suggests, Into the Depths of Hell isn’t exactly easy listening. Its creator calls it “an absurdist examination at the suffering humans inflict on each other every day and the innate human condition that demands we find some humour in it lest we collapse.” 

It’s a brooding, tense affair that’s not exactly singing the joys of spring from the rooftops, but neither is it any way a difficult listen. Burnside has a wonderfully warm voice and is not afraid to sing in his own accent. When coupled with great arrangements and musicianship, this makes for a winning combination. Burnside shares a sense of the singularity of timeless folk artists such as Nick Drake or John Martyn.

And You Evade Him/Born in the Blood takes so many delicious twists and turns the listener truly gets lost in it, and there’s a very healthy regard to take the scenic and experimental route throughout.

Into The Depths postulates the uncomfortable theory that perhaps the first ring of hell begins on our doorstep, which is very plausible considering the mess we’re in at the moment. If Joshua Burnside is correct, then at least his soundtrack for our hell on earth sounds good.