The visceral, raw reverb-soaked guitars of Josh Thorpe‘s ‘Down to the Ground’ form a perfect bedrock for his deep and quietly thundering vocals – a song that burns slowly and brightly in the firmament.
You will naturally think of Lou Reed, even Stewart Staples from Tindersticks with the expository style of the song and the sonorous vocals, but there is a fundamental and unique magic that Thorpe has – laid back, louche and so very, very cool.
‘Down to the Ground’ is one of those songs where there is an entire story told in the space inbetween the music. The subtle melodies etch themselves deeply – this is one of those songs that grows exponentially and entwines itself in your brain with every listen. It is poised, enigmatic and altogether brilliant.
The accompanying video is as simple and as rich as the song itself – a shot from an upper storey window of a local suburban street in Paris: a gaze that is as expressive and beautiful as the scenery and the song itself. Multiple stories to tell without words:
Such brittle and vulnerable music – heartachingly raw. Thorpe has called up the ghosts of Reed, Leonard Cohen and Jonathan Richman with the musical spirit of Velvet Underground and created something special.
‘Down to the Ground is off Thorpe’s forthcoming album ‘Love and Weather’ due out on 5 February 2021 through Unusual Music Exchange. Watch out for a full review – hint: it is brilliant.
Josh Thorpe is a Canadian artist and songwriter now based in Glasgow, Scotland.