Artist Spotlight: Joshua Thomas

I’m always on the look out for new, exciting or unfamiliar LGBT artists to listen to. Amidst a whole host of weird and wonderful performers, American singer Joshua Thomas stands out.

I usually have a total aversion to thoughtful, quiet singer-songwriter types like Ed Sheeran and George Ezra – they tend to be boring and repetitive – but Philadelphia-based Joshua Thomas has some distinct qualities that separates him from musically-similar artists; maybe it’s his voice, which ranges from soft and mellow to a loud, pseudo-howl, or his dynamic songs, but he brings something a little different to the table.

Joshua notes his biggest influence as Joni Mitchell, which is certainly apparent in the folk melodies and raw emotion that can be heard in his songs. His brief cover of her song “A Strange Boy” on YouTube is exceptional, and she personally gave him the stamp of approval. His music may not be on your ultimate party playlist on Spotify; it’s better suited for when you’re feeling a bit mellower. 

He organically incorporates his gay perspective and personal life into his music; his EP The Harboring consists of stories about men – and one man in particular
– and emotions he claims don’t “weigh him down as much” when he puts pen to paper. He wears his heart on his sleeve, taking the listener on a huge journey as he sings through heartache and self-discovery.

We’ve all felt what he’s going through, and he perfectly captures every moment. The Hunter is particularly great: it’s haunting and full of drama, with Thomas demonstrating a lot of soul and range to his voice. Brooklyn is emotive and recalls the late great Elliot Smith, while Down Here is equally as perfect and he sounds amazing on it. Seriously – I know Adele is artist-in-favour right now, but if you’re in the mood for passionate, poignant music, Joshua Thomas is your man. Trust me, you’ve listened to Hello enough.

He has select EPs and singles available online to check out and purchase. Josh Thomas is the ideal new listen for fans of Joni Mitchell, sometimes-sad tunes, haunting vocals and beautiful song writing.

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