Holy folk, Joshua Hyslop’s new album is worth a listen

“Echos” is perfect Sunday morning background music

A new folk album is reverberating from the mainland, and you should listen up. Joshua Hyslop emerged in 2012, and has since been serenading ears with the strum of his guitar and melting hearts with the emotional stories he tells through his songs.

Joshua Hyslop stands in front of street art that says this is paradise. Hyslop released his latest folk album, Echoes.

Photo by Jesse Milns via Nettwerk

Hyslop’s new album Echos comes out on Feb. 23, and it contains some innovative folk music that I was lucky enough to listen to with an advance copy. His voice bears a resemblance to the artist Passenger, but his presentation is very different. Hyslop is very ‘bare bones’ in comparison, and takes a calmer, slower approach to his music that gives the listener more time to reflect on the lyrics. With over 65 million streams worldwide, Hyslop is gaining a strong following and has a promising career ahead of him.

“A handful of songs are based on my own experiences but, largely, the record came from observing people who I’m close to.”

Hyslop stays true to the theme of hardships in his lead single, “Fall.” It is a great example of what Echos has to offer and was released early on YouTube (so go have a listen). The single is a calming story about refusing to give up on someone you care about, and serves as a good tune for relieving stress.

The rest of the album is a collection of stories that range from emotional to thought-provoking. “Into the Dark” is about getting lost and feeling broken. Although it is a heavy and sobering song, things don’t seem so bad toward the end, with a little help from the sounds of a harmonica.

“What’s to Come” is about overcoming fears and having the control to make one’s own choices. Hyslop has the listener reflecting on their own life, and thinking about the choices they will make in the future.   

“Lighter Than a Stone” is one of the easiest songs to listen to on the whole album. I found myself not even realizing it had ended, but felt inexplicably uplifted. Hyslop accomplished exactly what the name of the song claims; I felt as though a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

If you’re interested in hearing more of Hyslop, check out his YouTube and Spotify channels. I would definitely recommend his 2015 song “The Flood,” where the singer tries to escape from a life that is drowning him, or one of his earlier, darker song, “Nowhere Left To Go.

If you’re looking for a relaxing morning with plenty of coffee, Joshua Hyslop provides the perfect background music, with songs that raise questions and bring up discussion topics. Feb. 23 is the release of Echos and it couldn’t come soon enough!

Stream Joshua Hyslop’s new album Echos on Spotify

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