Folk Friday: Josh Caress

Most of the time, the only good thing about a break-up is that it bonds you to certain songs in a passionate way. The last time I got broke up with, I turned to Josh Caress‘s Letting Go of a Dream. As I drove across the state to go visit some sympathetic friends, I turned this sucker up all the way and let it wash over me. It’s a lush and symphonic album, featuring layers and layers of electronics, strings, beats, and acoustic instruments. When Caress gets going, he turns little ditties into towering melodies with such heartbreaking abandon that it’s almost impossible not to be moved. The forlorn tone of Caress’s voice is matched perfectly with the full sweep of his orchestration, and the two dip and turn in a way that creates one thought out of the many ideas.

Speaking to my theme of prolific songwriters this week, Caress has an enormous output as well. He’s put out five full-length albums in as many years. Since Letting Go of a Dream, he’s put out the acoustic-only masterpiece Josh Caress Goes on an Adventure!, the Sufjan-esque The Rockford Files, and the Ryan Adams-ian alt-country experiment Wild Wild Love. All have their highlights (especially, as I noted, …Adventure!), but the deep and fully realized passion of Letting Go of a Dream sets it head and shoulders above the rest. If you’re in the heartbroken way, it is time for you to check out Josh Caress. If you’re not, you may need to stock up some ammo for your next disillusionment.

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