Monday, 7 May 2012

Oh, Joshua.


My favourite singer, and possibly favourite person, in the world is Joshua Radin. He is a gorgeous Ohio native with a love for creativity, classic guitars and whiskey, in possession of a voice so heartbreakingly beautiful that it knocks girls off their feet and leaves a room still. His hushed and spellbinding singing voice draws you in, blocking out everything else around you, sends you to a peaceful place and makes you believe in love again. What's more, his undeniable and striking good looks, charming demeanour and endearing self-deprecation almost bring you to your knees.


Your name is the splinter inside me, while I wait...

Joshua came into my life when I was in a dark place (it's so clich
é, it can only be true), and his first album 'We Were Here' is what kick-started my obsession with love and the power and importance of memories. His song 'Winter' brought tears to my eyes the very first time I heard it, and after seeing him play it live (twice), I don't think anything will ever compare to it. I would play the whole album through my headphones at night to send me off to sleep, and dream of a magical happiness that had once seemed unattainable; these songs gave me hope that someday I'd have everything I ever wanted. I have a friend who has a lyric from his song 'Today' tattooed on her shoulder (I sat beside you and became myself); this song was also Ellen Degeneres' wedding song. I have never been one of those girls who plans her wedding day from age four, but when I was younger I knew just one detail about my perfect wedding: Joshua would be there, singing me down the aisle (that is, if I wasn't marrying him). Some girls dreamt of going on a date with Zac Efron or kissing Justin Timberlake... I wanted to marry Joshua Radin.

All the gold dust in her eyes won't reform into rain.

Joshua's second album, 'Simple Times', coincided conveniently with a schoolgirl crush. This was a time when I was extremely possessive over my favourite musicians; I wouldn't let my family or friends hear what I was listening to or let them borrow any of my CDs, but I shared my love for Joshua with this boy, and bought him the second album for his birthday. When things didn't work out (relationships don't last long when you're fourteen), I was perfectly content sitting in my bedroom writing one of my millions of stories and listening to 'No Envy, No Fear'. I remember the first time I heard the original version of 'I'd Rather Be With You' (the song he seems to be most famous for nowadays), and thinking that this song could change my life. The rare and simple beauty that was the song 'Sky' roused me from a state of emotional sleep. One of my friends wrote lyrics from 'Friend Like You' in my diary one day, and I couldn't stop smiling.

If you had three, you'd give me two; there ain't no other friend like you.

The album 'Simple Times' came out in the UK almost two years after I ordered it online, and before long Joshua announced tour dates in the Spring of 2010. I jumped up and down with excitement and joy, and ordered two tickets without hesitation. I went to see him on a Tuesday night in Brighton with my then-boyfriend, and it was one of the most magical nights of my life. Bless my boyfriend, he spent the week leading up to the gig listening to only Radin songs and putting up with my fangirl squeals and excited chatter. Standing at the front of the crowd at the Concorde 2 club below Brighton Pier, looking up at my true love in his ragged white T-shirt and black jeans, hearing the songs I loved most in the world is not something I am likely to forget in this lifetime. Joshua was the epitome of chill throughout the gig, stopping between songs to have a cheeky whisky and chat to the crowd in that luscious deep voice of his about his songs and his love for the UK, and thanking the crowd for "just listening".

'Unlike many artists, Radin has always talked to his audiences and so the idea of having a pointed forum to do that is a liberating idea. “I like that kind of thing because, I don’t know how people do the whole Lady Gaga or Ziggy Stardust thing. I don’t get how people become a character on stage. It’s just too much work for me — trying to keep up a veil of a character,” Radin said. “People ask me questions on stage all of the time, and I love having that conversation with people and breaking down that fourth wall.”' -  http://marqueemag.com/2012/01/01/joshua-radin-set-to-record-new-album-of-back-porch-music-in-2012/
There was also a heart-stopping moment that night when he and I locked eyes and he smiled at me...

Only the heartaches have given me sight.

My Dad went on a business trip to New York in late 2010, and brought back a surprise for me: Joshua's third album, 'The Rock And The Tide', not due to be released in the UK until August 1st 2011 (as fate would have it, my birthday). I was late to college that day because I was importing the album into my iTunes library immediately. I was listening to it non-stop for months, and also hopefully anticipating the release of 2011 UK tour dates. Sure enough, in October 2011 I was on my way to Shepherd's Bush, London, to see him once again. Before the show he tweeted to ask if anyone had any requests for him to play; I requested an unreleased favourite of mine, 'Lovely Tonight', a song that gives me hope and reminds me of love lost, adding "btw, I love you" onto the end of my tweet. I received an email minutes later to let me know that Joshua Radin was following me on Twitter. I told myself to keep calm, then, after about a minute, started squealing.



Sun shines in the eyes of those who know how to leave the past behind.

At his gig in Shepherd's Bush, he announced that he was currently working on a new album (cue screams), a more acoustic-orientated record, of course personally penned like all of his music. All I have heard of it thus far is the song 'Where You Belong'; already I am in love again. And now I am, obviously, eagerly awaiting the release of the album and 2012 UK tour dates. So far he has confirmed US dates and venues, and France, Spain and Italy. Every day I am refreshing online music events pages, checking my emails and his Twitter page (I also need to find someone to come with me to see him live this year, so let me know).

All this time I've been following life to the letter but, that ain't the way to go.

When I come back to my hometown for weekends or for the holidays, I have a ritual of listening to 'I Missed You' on the train. This happy song makes me think of home and all the people I have missed the most; recently, with my love for uni growing more day by day, I have started listening to the song on the way back from my hometown.


I'm coming home, just to let you know... That I missed you.

Two items at the top of my Bucket List are "see Joshua Radin live more than five times", and "meet Joshua Radin". I have no idea what I'd say to Joshua if I were to meet him, I'd probably ramble away about how he is my dream and how his music has changed my life for the better... Surely he's used to that by now. I'd love nothing more than to just sit at the bar and drink whiskey with Joshua Radin, talking about love, travelling the world, old-school music and Ohio.

Thank you, Joshua. I'll see you soon. x

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