Quick Hitters:: Joshua Van Tassel

With a name that could have been lifted from an 80′s preppy villain, you might assume supporting actor (a.k.a. drummer for hire for people like Valery Gore and David Myles) turned front man Joshua Van Tassel would sound like any other coffee house troubadour.


Instead, the Nova Scotian ex-pat delivers a collection of sonic experiments, heavy on mood, transitions and rhythm that all develop from a singular start point. With delicate washes of electronics, hand claps, finger snaps and keyboards, the range Van Tassel offers is impressive but the genesis of each song is a simple acoustic chord pattern. In a time where it seems almost every artist wants nothing more than to be given credit for “authenticity” - read, second rate rehashes or duplication of time honored melodies - Joshua’s songs maybe be born from the tradition of folk, but refuse to align to any of the standard definitions.


Joshua briefly shines a spotlight on the simplicity and malleable feel of his acoustic, but it’s his tasteful appreciation of rhythm and pace that keep this record sounding fresh. The picked notes of “Banana Holding Animal” are paired with programming that dances around your headphones and even when he gets melancholic (like the dark “River Running”), the chaotic noise filters, effects and spiked percussion add a depth and creativity to the slow moving songs.


From start to finish, Joshua keep you engaged but when he hits his stride - like he does on the airy, electronic heavy “Already Gone” or when he delivers a well paced metamorphosis from a country lament to an atmospheric escape on the closer, “Before You Sleep” - you hear an artist with the potential to stand side by side with the talent he normally sits behind.

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MP3:: Joshua Van Tassel - Before You Sleep
WEB:: music.phonographique.com



Tags: Joshua Van Tassel

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 18th, 2011 at 8:21 am and is filed under 2011, Canada, Music, Quick Hitters, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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