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๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ - this week: Wonderful You - Frank Joshua

Welcome all to ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connollyย - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of ๐™‰๐™š๐™ฌ ๐˜ผ๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™Ž๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™ก๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ playlists.


๐™’๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™™๐™š๐™ง๐™›๐™ช๐™ก ๐™”๐™ค๐™ช - ๐™๐™ง๐™–๐™ฃ๐™  ๐™…๐™ค๐™จ๐™๐™ช๐™–


Charles speaks franklyโ€ฆ


Throughout the noughties and early tens, I was obsessed with one particular producer. It seemed to me like he was capable of anything. Whatever he got his hands on, he would turn to greatness. He would make a good thing better. He would make it his own. I also wondered if the artists he worked with minded that each record he produced sounded very much like a โ€œhavenโ€™t mentioned his name yetโ€ album, rather than an album by that particular artist. His stamp. I donโ€™t think they minded though, because if he was involved it was pretty much a guarantee that the record would be fabulous, popular and reviewed well. Praised to the skies, even! The artists he has worked with include Radiohead, Beck, Zero 7, Travis (never mind), Air and a slightly more obscure artist by the name of Paul McCartney. There are of course others, but this is enough to be getting on with for now. While these artists are hugely different from one another, there is something warm and cosy, yet grand and impressive about all of them. This is what this producer manages with everything he touches. His name? Nigel Godrich.


Godrich is as much a composer and arranger as a producer. He is not the type to dive straight into the drum machine or spend hours messing with vocal reverbs. Not that kind of producer. He is more the type of producer I look up to. Like George Martin, Phase II. A PRODUCER producer. Also a producerโ€™s producer. He will see a good song when clubbed with one, because he has the foresight to realise the songโ€™s capabilities. What I find most refreshing about his technique and style is that it is almost entirely organic. He relies on instruments and tactile synthesis, rather than computers. It is very much music made by people. And he will rarely do the standard combo-sound of guitar, bass, drums and vocals. It is his instrumental additions that make things more theatrical, inspirational, original and often filmic. Godrich will close-mic his drums and his strings for that cosy studio sound, but the arrangement itself will be far more grand and impressive than one might expect from your average pop song. So why do I speak of all this? Well, my first conscious knowledge of listening to a Nigel Godrich production (I was completely unaware with earlier Radiohead albums) was Zero 7. It was a sound I simply adored, and pretty much the quintessential Godrich sound. Those first two albums I played and played to death (in a time when we did such a thing). This was โ€œthe sound I meantโ€. I wanted more of this, but there was so little of it. Other producers just couldnโ€™t come close. He was simply the only person doing this. It was new. Anyway, at the time I delved into all the credits of the these two albums, and the name Mozez kept cropping up. Although not official, he is sort of known as the frontman of Zero 7. That voice is what we associate with the band/collective. That, and of course this lush sound.


As time went on, Mozez evidently saw the dross in the mainstream and wanted to do something about it, if even in a small way. Mozez parted the waves and started his own record label little more than a decade ago. He wanted there to be a certain style and sound to the labelโ€™s artists. To pick the right bunch for what would become Numen Records. This small yet professional setup is London based, but doesnโ€™t just โ€œrecruitโ€ London artists, proving that itโ€™s all about the music rather than the geography. Thank you internet, for bringing us all together. And thank you humans, for making sure we donโ€™t turn into one big carbon-copy blob. The yin with the yang. โ€œWe promise to listen and work with our artists individually and build a solid foundation from which we can advance their musical careerโ€, says Mozez in relation to the label. His real name is Osmond Wright, but in realising he couldnโ€™t be Wright all of the time, he opted for Mozez. The main reason I spoke of Nigel Godrich before is his influence. He has influenced many artists over the years, but more so recently than before. There is no doubt he has subconsciously influenced me as a producer. A fellow independent artist by the name of Sam Lemos is evidently influenced by him (by his own admission). Osmond, if youโ€™re reading this, do have a listen to Sam Lemos. I couldnโ€™t imagine a more suitable addition to your artist roster.


But speaking of rosters, in 2021 Mozez signed one artist you might have heard of. This artist has been a member of the New Artist Spotlight since August of last year, and has been on my โ€œmaybeโ€ list just SO many times. Pretty much every single release if Iโ€™m honest, yet he never quite managed to secure my pick of the week. He falls perfectly in line with โ€œthat soundโ€, but is by no means a plaster cast of what has come before. Please welcome London-based artist, Frank Joshua! Now, much like Mozez, โ€œFrank Joshuaโ€ is a nom de plume, but to keep things simple I will stick with it, so as not to confuse. And no, he wasnโ€™t born Donny Wrong. Frank Joshua has somehow managed to write, record and release a whopping 36 songs in just over 3 years. While few can make this claim, even fewer can boast a high level of quality over such a number. Frank has just released his 3rd album in as many years, and itโ€™s just wonderful! While I wish to bring attention to the LP as a whole, โ€œTurn To Your Soulโ€ contains 11 tracks, and I can only pick one. The obvious choice would be to go for the latest single (the title track), released the same day as the album. But what with me being me, I wonโ€™t be doing that. I simply wanted to pick my favourite and certainly one of the best in my opinion. It also happens to be Track 1, so you can continue listening to the entire album afterwards, without having missed a second. Though โ€œWonderful Youโ€ might be known to some (released as a single almost exactly one year ago), I don't think it got the attention it deserved, and I have the feeling most of you have never heard it. But hear it, you must!


Before I go into the song, I will speak about LPs. In the last few years, we have all been told that they are dead. That it is all about individual songs and playlists. And that an LP is CERTAINLY not something for independent artists anymore. Their arguments, though sad, seemed to make sense. What was the sense in pouring your time, energy, heart, soul and bank account into something that was not going to be listened to?? And so we released a song. Then another song. And then another. And this cycle went on for years before realising that the process feels exactly that. A process. A factory. There was no particular goal. No bigger picture. But more importantly, they were wrong all along. While mood playlists do have their place, and it is not something that could have existed before the age of the streaming services, this is no reason for it to REPLACE the traditional way of releasing albums. The LP is very much a thing of importance. It is the ultimate connection a listener can have with an artist. Of course, the LP has to be worth listening to! There is no point in churning out ten of that mediocre song. Fans will not flock. But an LP of 10 united tracks is far more special than 10 untied singles. No misprint. Once all 10 songs are tethered, the listener can truly be immersed in the world of that artist, and only then can they truly become a proper fan. Which is why I'm bang in the middle of releasing an LP (you might have heard) - Track 8 is out on Friday. Look, I felt like a shameless plug. Artists are finally realising or remembering the importance of making LPs (and to an extent, EPs). But be warned, it is no easy feat. Now for Wonderful You.


This precious thing of magical magic is fresh, vibrant, slick, sleek, sexy, cool, warm, cold, hot, romantic, dark and beautiful. Basically almost everything in music that moves me. Vocally and melodically, I hear strong notes of George Michael and Michael Bublรฉ, but with the darkness of Seal and the honesty of Aqualung. With different lyrics, this could easily have been a James Bond theme, and a damned good one too (it would be the best since Sheryl Crowโ€™s Tomorrow Never Dies). There is also the coldness of Portishead in there too, with its trip-hop inspired beat and feel, but it goes further than trip-hop. Melodically and chordally speaking, Wonderful You has far more than your average trip-hop track, which tends to be more about vibe than song. What it does have in common with the best of Portishead, is the ability to make you feel, in a personal way. As if Frank is speaking your mind. Your inner thoughts, even if they are not your own. Almost like hypnosis! Aside from George Michael, I did hear something of Sam Lemos here, but very quickly I realised where it was all taking me. Nigel Godrich. Surely an influenceโ€ฆ This personal closeness cloaked in theatrical sleeves of silk. Every quaver edged in eyeliner in order to make expression stand out from afar. Romantic Hollywood is nearby, as white-tie celebrities ooze expensive charm. And yet, with all its sheen, like Bond it is wholly English. Aside from Frank's evident all-conquering talent in writing and singing, this is all made possible by Tony White, his fabulously gifted longterm producer. The purity of Frankโ€™s voice, the clarity of those drums, the stringsโ€™ supposed fragility cleverly masking the strength of an ox. This is classy honesty at its peak. Layer upon layer of the stuff. Frank and Tony are in full control, and clearly show no need for Godrich. I think I might call Frankโ€™s ever-embiggening discography, The Joshua Tree.


I hope youโ€™re enjoying your balmy Summer. But for those of you in Britain who seem constantly to be Singinโ€™ in the Rainโ€ฆ Mozez suppozez his toezez are rozez, but Mozez suppozez erroneously.


Listen to ๐™’๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™™๐™š๐™ง๐™›๐™ช๐™ก ๐™”๐™ค๐™ช on the ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Spotify playlist HERE!

Listen to ๐™’๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™™๐™š๐™ง๐™›๐™ช๐™ก ๐™”๐™ค๐™ช on the ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Apple Music playlist HERE!

Watch ๐™’๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™™๐™š๐™ง๐™›๐™ช๐™ก ๐™”๐™ค๐™ช on YouTube HERE!


Listen to ๐™๐™ช๐™ง๐™ฃ ๐™๐™ค ๐™”๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™Ž๐™ค๐™ช๐™ก on Spotify HERE!

Listen to ๐™๐™ช๐™ง๐™ฃ ๐™๐™ค ๐™”๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™Ž๐™ค๐™ช๐™ก on Apple Music HERE!


Follow ๐™๐™ง๐™–๐™ฃ๐™  ๐™…๐™ค๐™จ๐™๐™ช๐™– on Instagram HERE!

Follow ๐™๐™ง๐™–๐™ฃ๐™  ๐™…๐™ค๐™จ๐™๐™ช๐™– on TwiX HERE!


Please share this post and let me know your thoughts in the comments below



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106 Comments


Keyon Harris
Keyon Harris
4 days ago

Very fascinating writing Charles. It's hard to do 36 songs in that short amount of time lol.

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What is far harder is to do 36 really good songs in that time. And THAT for me is where Frank has succeeded. Both quantity and quality.

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Leo lofthouse
Leo lofthouse
4 days ago

I only recently discovered Frank Joshua but I must say I love his music already. It's very much the type of music I love listening to so, I'm a new fan!



As always, You made me laugh Charles. I absolutely love your dry, very British sense of humour.

Thanks to both of you for making the wet , rainy Sunday we're having in Cape Town so much happier and brighter. ๐ŸŒช๏ธ ๐Ÿ’™โ™Œ๐ŸŽถ

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Thanks, Leo. Hope you've dried off by now. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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ZOLEON
ZOLEON
4 days ago

Great review definitely loved the deep insights on this one keep up the good work as always ๐Ÿ’ฏ ๐Ÿ‘

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Patrik Ahlm
Patrik Ahlm
4 days ago

This might be my new favorite of 2024. It is so right up my alley. Must admit, Frank's music is new to me - and what a workaholic he must be with this magnificent body of work - 36 songs in 3 years is nothing but amazing. And amazing is truly the word for this song. It is stunning. Funny you should mention Bond theme, my thought exactly, I couldn't agree more. That guitar-lick/sound is just Bond ;) (And Sheryl Crowe's Bond-song is one of my favorites too - what a brilliant song - ooh my, that chorus. Chills...) The piano reminds me of 'Ultravox' (Vienna) and I also hear bits of 'The Christians' and 'Black'. But this is soโ€ฆ


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I agree with all of that (except the possible influences with whom I am unfamiliar). Thanks, Patrik!

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steveokwormusic
steveokwormusic
4 days ago

This is a wonderful review of such great piece of music. Everything about this song is superb. Frank Joshua youโ€™re wonderful as in Wonderful You!

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