RATING: 4/5 CHET BAKERS:
I stumbled across the Kickstarter page for Joshua Watkinson late last year, in which he was seeking backers to help fund his debut EP of five songs. After watching the hilariously quirky video that he had created and posted there, in which children all sang his praises (sometimes after being bribed), I figured I would help support the project. I didn't have a lot to contribute, but I suppose the cliche of "every little bit helps" applies.
And seeing how his goal of $3000 was surpassed by a mere ten dollars, I like to think I am the reason it was financed. Delusional or not, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. That said, I found myself in a weird situation of shelling out some money to help support someone who I hadn't even heard their music. I kinda knew the genre of pop/rock/soul but other than that, not a lot. I just thought his video was pretty funny and he had this laid back "not taking himself seriously" vibe to him, that hooked me in. And he was someone I felt like supporting.
Well, recently he had a release party, and now his EP is available to purchase, by clicking the button here on the left with the link. So I put it in and wasn't sure what to expect, and I have to say I was not disappointed. A lot of people that have posted their music online aren't exactly something that you find yourself listening to more than a few seconds. In fact they seem more destined for the Sandman Sims Hall of Shame, than any steady rotation. That said, Watkinson's debut EP, "Brand New Pieces" is a highly enjoyable bit of music. I think the obvious comparisons right out of the box would be to draw allusions to Maroon 5's Adam Levine, as it pertains to his voice. Musically, I think he reminded me of listening to Damien Rice, and at times Jack Johnson, which I view as compliments. Rice has long been a favorite artist of mine, and his album "O" is excellent.
I've had the EP on repeat since I got it last night, and the songs are quite infectious and almost impossible not to like and listen to, provided you're a fan of the genre. I think my favorite tracks on here are the final two, "Buying Time", and the lead single "Better Love". However the first track gets major kudos, if only because of the fact that they used a piece of The Jackson Five's "ABC" for "Guilty Goodbye" Although it felt like the track ended a bit earlier than expected, and at 2:38 it was the shortest track on the EP, it was still a solid track.
All in all, this was a very good debut offering from Watkinson, who I expect to have a good career ahead of him, if "Brand New Pieces" is any indication. Highly recommended!