25 year old Josh Weller describes his music as pop, cites Chet Baker as an influence, along with Paul Simon, Randy Newman and De La Soul. An eclectic mix indeed!
He’s spent many years working hard on his solo music after being in various bands, touring tiny venues, aswell as going on tour with various artists such as Mumford & Sons, Noisettes, Maccabees, Florence & The Machine and The xx.
Weller was on one occasion given the accolade of “Band Of The Day” by The Guardian back in 2008, has received lots of interest from online music blogs. In 2009, he released a single with his then girlfriend, Paloma Faith, called It’s Christmas and I Hate You.
He has been fortunate to have very recently toured with The Stereophonics (a friend who went alerted me to his existence, and implored me to listen), and soon afterwards released his EP, Mr Hypochondriac.
The title track is a quick paced acoustic song with country elements, and is about Josh’s self-professed hypochondria. Its clever, witty lyrics are superb – for me, the guitar could have brought more to the song, or maybe there could have been a cowbell or two in there… I jest. It’s a great little tune.
Cruella is fab – it sounds like it could be a Rihanna song, except it’s good (sorry, Rihanna…). The harmonies are great, and I love the twiddly notes on the guitar with the clapping in the background.
Next up is English Summer – this is lovely, Josh’s voice is soft and sensitive, and the song is hopeful and has a joyous sound, building up with the guitar and cymbals joining as the song goes on. “I fell in love in the rain in the English Summer” – gorgeous! I love it!
Don’t Run For Me is a song about a lost love… “You’d be lying if you said that you didn’t run from me, you sprint away or ignore me when you see me now.” I can feel the despair behind Weller’s voice. The guitar has been perfectly placed in vocal gaps, and adds to the melancholy, making the entire song wholly heartbreaking.
I Get Along Without You Very Well was originally composed by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics based on a poem by Jane Brown Thompson. It’s previously been covered by Frank Sinatra and Billie Holliday to name but two, and of course Josh, now! He’s in great company there! It’s a beautifully sad song, and Josh’s voice compliments it perfectly. So gentle, and a lovely end to the EP.
The EP makes me wonder how Josh can describe his music as “pop” – it will definitely appeal to a lot of people, that’s for sure, but for me it’s more on the acoustic/alternative side of things, with hints of blues and jazz throughout. Who am I to define its genre, though? I like it, and so do many others, that’s all that matters! Josh talks about it at the end of the EP (track 6), as well as giving his review of Die Hard 5, among other things. He’s an amusing, quirky man, very friendly and personable. It was a cool thing for him to do!
The new single, I Forgot To Tell You You’re Beautiful, will be released on 1st July. This is an upbeat, catchy number which will you find yourself singing it for hours after hearing it! It was exclusively premiered on XFM on 12th May, and is now available to buy on iTunes.
Weller is celebrating his single release with a gig on 12th July at Sebright Arms, Hackney, London – tickets available here – as a bonus, the first 50 people who walk through the doors will be presented with a super rare signed CD of ‘Mr Hypochondriac EP’ ! Very nice, too!
A quick mention for another track on Weller’s Soundcloud, Swan Dive. Actually, I won’t talk about it, just listen and form your own opinion of this one… it’s sublime. I adore it. (OK, I talked about it a bit…!)
Josh will be playing at Bushstock on June 1st – see their website for details.