Josh Pyke’s sixth studio album is out today. It’s called Rome and it’s a moody and introspective record that touches on all things life: love, anxiety, loss, acceptance, and growth.
About the album, Josh Pyke says, “It’s been 5 years since I put out a new record.”
“That fact alone made choosing songs very hard. I wanted the album to be a departure from previous releases, and to really evoke the place I’d found myself in over the last few years. A lot has happened, and most of it is personal, but the saying ‘All roads lead to Rome’ felt poignant to me in this time.
“We can’t escape who we are, and unless we face it and evolve, we risk becoming ruined civilisations.”
As a special treat for Music Feeds, Josh Pyke has taken us through the new album, track by track. Have a read (and a listen) below.
Old Times Sake
This song is about the idea that we’re constantly many things at once, and we never know what’s around the corner. We’re alive in as much as we’re dying, and we’re only ever one decision away from disaster or success. That can either be the most frightening, or the most liberating thing to know, or perhaps it’s always both.
This song was one of the first ones I completed for Rome. The title of the album really reflects what this song is about. All roads lead back to ourselves. We can’t escape ourselves, for better or worse. We can change and grow, but we’re always building on, or refining something that’s inherent in us. Plus I liked that this song has quite a long solo in the middle. Who doesn’t love a solo in 2020?
I Thought We Were A River
We’re all weathered and worn by the lives we lead. This is a song about acceptance. The only things we can control are ourselves, and even that’s hard.
Home started out being a song about leaving. About having such confidence in the stability of something that you could leave it, knowing it would always be there. Covid and lockdown changed that for me. The song became about questioning the very notion of what a home is. Is it a person? A place? Or is it just a feeling?
Still We Carry On
When I heard that Elon Musk thought it was almost certain that we’re all living in a simulation, it messed with my head for about a week. In the end I decided that even if it’s true it wouldn’t make me change my plans for the future or my memories of the past. As Popeye once said “I y’am what I y’am, and that’s all I y’am.” I think that pretty much sums this song up.
Don’t Let It Wait
It feels prescient now, but I guess the message is always relevant. When big things happen in our lives it makes us take stock of what we need to appreciate more, and what we value the most. So, don’t let it wait.
The Closing Eye
There are things that are happening in my personal life that I choose not to talk about, but of course these things hugely influence my songs. Without going into detail, this song is about the idea that when we go, we really only leave behind the memories that others have of us. We can’t control when or how we’ll go, but we can control our own actions every day so that those memories people end up having are good.
You’re my Colour
This is a love song. It’s as simple as that. It’s about loving someone so much that the feeling steers you away from a looming existential crisis, which is, frankly a place I’m often heading!
I Don’t Know
It’s always hard to decide which song to go out with first when you release an album. A five year break hasn’t made that any easier!
In the end I wanted to release a track that wasn’t necessarily “single-y”, but evoked the mood and situation I’d found myself in at the end of 2017, that led me to take a break from touring for over 2 years. It feels like the right bookend to close the cover on that period.
Old Songs Now
I wrote the beginnings of this song on a tour of the UK which marked the beginnings of a period of severe panic attacks. “There are berries in the bracken, I can’t tell if they are poison,” was a line that sprang up in the midst of one. In my desire for control and stability, I wanted to be as reliable as a song you know off by heart, an old song, and I was trying to write that feeling into existence by writing the song.
Where Goes The Girl
This song is too personal to go into, and anyway, I want my songs to have a life and meaning beyond what I intended. At its core this song is about endings. Things being finished even if they seem to be continuing on the surface. Even if something still exists, it doesn’t always mean it’s still here. And that can be very hard.
Josh Pyke’s Rome is out today.