JoshuaOfEarth is no ordinary musician. Besides playing 3 instruments (bass, guitar, piano) he’s also a full-fledged sound engineer, taking care of the composition, recording process, and mixing and mastering stages. With the launch of his own music production-centered business, Joshua Landau also officially marked his entrance on the ambient market this year with In The Distance. It’s comprised of 5 delightful songs that carry depth and revel in emotional energy through each contributing instrument. In The Distance is what you listen to when you feel the urge to escape the hyperrealistic media channels, the grim-toned entertainment, or even your very-predictable daily playlist. “I wanted to make the type of music that I wanted to hear but could never find. Instrumental atmospheric music that can sit in the background, or be engaging enough to stand on its own and take the listener through a journey from start to finish.” – shares Joshua as we’re about to dive into experiencing In The Distance.
Electric guitar fans, welcome! Virga starts off with a gentle introductory feeling, bringing the distant-sounding electric guitar ever-so-close to the audience, nicely laying the anticipation for the actual song. And at only 33 seconds in, those assertive drums interrupt the tranquil vibes by grabbing the listener’s attention upon themselves. To explain the effect this amalgam of guitar and drums has over the general mood, I’d say to imagine yourself driving a vintage car on a hot summer evening, on a mountain with plenty of pine trees on top and you’re just realizing there’s no other soul around and you’re happy just the way things are.
This gravitas that’s been inserted in the record’s sound by the drums’ presence, lasts all the way till the end. To be noted the absolute clarity between the instruments as they lucidly show off high levels of production and intention behind Virga. Only at around 2 min and 5 seconds, we get a lighter music motif but it shortly reverts to the initial sequence bringing back that melancholic tinge. The song’s ending is a comforting one, relying on the main repeat-guitar from the beginning. If you were just as impressed by the melodic cohesiveness you witnessed between the aforementioned instruments, there’s a good reason for it: “Everything you hear is built from scratch. The drums are programmed with raw samples and mixed/processed from zero. And I’ve been playing guitar for 17 years and composing music for about 10” wow, 17 years. A better love story than Twilight 😆
2. In The Distance
The second creation off the EP, the same one carrying the very title, In The Distance, imposingly arrives with a cold mandolin succeeded by the suave electric guitar. The mandolin takes the spotlight with the latter accompanying it into a sort of bridge that satisfies the need for musical closure. Knowing that Joshua is a one-man-team, we asked how he managed to recreate the infamous Asian-sounding snippet, to which he interestingly answered: “I applied heavy processing on a mandolin sample. I made it in a way that is similar to how an EDM producer would work with sounds”. We stan an educated producer. He also adds something that confirms our reasons to applaud him and his work: “It was very important to me that every song on the EP was unique and distinct in sound and mood. I really tried to make it all flow together and give the listener a sense of motion and progression as they continue through the EP”, and deliver he did. If Virga felt like an initiation, In The Distance feels like an assertive statement with that guitar riding high from 01:35 all the way to its doleful ending at 03:07. You’re now officially in the company of JoshuaOfEarth.
3. A Morning Walk Among The Trees
The third track brings something new to the table, something that any slightly-trained ear will pick up in the first seconds when compared to the other 2 songs: “For A Morning Walk Among The Trees, I used a clean guitar sound I made by arpeggiating chords and layering it with a ton of delay and reverb.”, Joshua is talking about that super long sound in the beginning that then turns to be the actual base for the record. That neat murmur is reflective of the entire 3 minutes and 44 seconds, and it continually pulls in the listener with the same scale and beauty we’ve been used to by now. Another very-needed addition to the composition are the airy bells that show up around the second minute, as they augment the ethereal spectrum and sprinkle some magic on top of A Morning Walk Among The Trees. If one could gaze inside a kind, gentle soul, we would imagine this is what you’d hear. And yes, hearing is seeing.
Deluge might be the most commercially-appealing instrumental off In The Distance. It sounds so complete, thorough, and radio-ready, that you’re expecting to be hit with some vocals any moment. This accomplishment alone is a compelling reason for anyone to check on JoshuaOfEarth’s music catalog. The expansive atmosphere of Deluge is graced by that sexy guitar and the large but soft drums. There’s a sad undertone to the melody but it is not overbearing, becoming rather romantic and flirtatious after about a minute and thirty seconds. If there’s one song we’d have to point you to, Deluge is the one. It’s the one instrumental that helps you realize definitively that In The Distance is beyond any popular construct and it defies any preset formats. If you’re stupidly transfixed by now, it’s a normal reaction to such levels of purity in music.
And we’ve come to the fifth and last song off the EP. JoshuaOfEarth made sure to keep a good one to part ways with the audience. Zephyr is the cinematic touch of In The Distance. Imagine a rainy day that goes unexpectedly well for the gray clouds it brought. Zephyr is exactly that. It’s a sweet embrace after an emotional rollercoaster. Featuring the same characteristic elements as the previous records, it indulges in the sound of the ever-so-brilliant electric guitar, the imperative drums, and it bestows an ending that sounds like violins harmonizing to keep the atmosphere locked in its whimsical tenure. Three times beautiful ⭐
In The Distance is an ambient EP that you might find yourself listening on repeat for hours on end. It is a musical magnet without overstaying its welcome. It favors tranquility with a touch of melancholy without turning too depressive. It showers the audience with guitar sections without edging rock music. It gifts grandiose endings without ever feeling ruptured. It simply is what ambient music should be: an emotional introspective instigated by high-quality sounds and motifs.
To find out more about Joshua Landau and his obvious top-quality services, visit https://joshualandaumusic.com/
Review by Mariana Berdianu
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