Josh Pyke releases Rome, his first record in five years, on the 28th of August.
Don’t mistake the hiatus for simply dawdling around the house, though Josh does confirm that plenty of that happened too.
During the break, Josh Pyke was collaborating with other musicians, writing children’s books, being a mentor to up and coming musicians through the Josh Pyke Partnership, and continuing to be a doting father to his children.
“Rome is definitely more relaxed.” Josh explains. He took this time to let musical and lyrical inspiration come grace him throughout the day, and explore where it took him.
He hums. “I feel good, from taking my time in the break to create songs for Rome. I let myself be free.”
Josh thinks back to when he first worked on the basic ideas behind ‘Old Time’s Sake’, “I have an autoharp that I plugged into some guitar pedals, started playing, and sang a gibberish lyric on top of it. I left it for a while and came back to it a couple of months later realising there was something still drawing me to it.”
“And for ‘Home’,” he says, the smile clear in his voice, “I was sitting at the dining table, watching my kids in the living room play, I wrote the first lyric as I was sitting in a sunbeam. However, it was mostly written as I was away from home, feeling homesick.”
Rome is an album full of musical and thematic highs and lows, often switching and twisting within the same song like in “You’re My Colour”. But all of these moments are explorations of the fact that everything fades – yet, there seems to be hope and beauty in accepting this fact.
Upon wondering if he intended to leave listeners with any message about life, the universe, and everything, Josh Pyke clarifies that “I more want listeners to be able to find their own meanings in my songs. Every single person will find something different that they think about, resonate with.”
Ahead of his national tour in October, Josh reminisces on his previous tours around Australia. After his three year break from touring, what brings him back to the stage?
“It’s a different atmosphere,” he says, “You can be a bit more relaxed when listening to an album. You can enjoy it while you’re off doing something else, like dishes. But when you’re at a live show – there’s an element of togetherness. With the lights, the music, with everyone listening, you’re all there living in the moment.”
This is the crux of Rome. Embracing the moment for what it is, and embracing how we feel within it.
Josh Pyke’s Rome releases on the 28 of August 2020.
Josh Pyke’s national tour starts on October 1 in Queensland, and he’ll be in Western Australia on October 15 and 16 at Mojo’s Bar in North Fremantle. The tour stops in multiple states, and ends on 30 October in New South Wales.
Look forward to the release of the music video of “I Thought We Were a River”, animated by Lisa Vertudaches, soon.