Home by Josh Garrels (Album)

7 April, 2015 in Music Reviews

Josh Garrels

Josh Garrels turns “to the intimacy of family, forgiveness and homecoming”. Pic: Ray Spears

The new album from Portland songwriter Josh Garrels is a reflective record which gives an intimacy to his usual eclecticism

Josh Garrels 'Home' cover

Josh Garrels Home cover art, designed by Courtney Knight

ecorded in his fan-funded home studio, Home is the new album from Portland, Oregon songwriter Josh Garrels and the follow-up to the 2011 album Love & War & The Sea In Between. Renowned for threading his Christian faith into his music, there is much more to Garrels. A life which began on a hippie commune and has included spells as both a drug dealer and an urban shepherd provides plenty of subject matter.

Garrels has said that for this record his attention has been turned “to the intimacy of family, forgiveness and homecoming” and these influences lend a distinct ambience to the album. The eclectic elements that have always been part of his music remain, but they are contained subtle moments such as the slightly industrial feel of A Long Way or the ominous build-up of strings on Morning Light.

Album closer Benediction is a country-infused blessing and its message of “the love will make your days complete” can be embraced by music fans of any belief. Overall though this a soulful album filled with classic songwriting which will appeal to admirers of Ray LaMontagne and José González. Garrels’ voice switches between gravelly and airy with aplomb and his impressive range only adds the record’s charm.

Verdict: Contemplative songwriting with universal appeal.

Duncan Haskell


If this has whet your appetite for Garrels’ music and you want to hear a preview of Home, check out the album trailer video below…