A new EP release from Joshua McCooey showcases the artist's useful and honest persona as he wears his heart on his sleeves and delivers a soulful vocal performance to go along with a combination of pop rock and a contemporary ballad approach riddled with catchy guitar sections and enough character for you to stick with.
The Show and Tell EP does wonders for showing Joshua's presence as an artist and how he's able to deliver such passionate vocals along with such impactful songwriting to the point where these songs even feel cinematic.
These tracks definitely come from some place real and that's why they feel so authentic because he's pulling from his own life and that's what makes this so good.
These songs are incredibly relatable, and you can tell that some of these were very cathartic for the artist and the need to get things off of his chest may have been satiated by creating these songs and that is exactly what makes for great songwriting.
You feel like you know him better after listening to the record and that's something I haven't felt for a long time listening to an album or an EP.
He also knows exactly how to deliver some great hooks not just vocally but musically which is also something I feel like especially in rock music, has been missing for quite some time.
He keeps that youthful vigor and exposes the emotion that helped build this record in the first place so you can soak it in with open arms.
It's very welcoming and I really enjoyed that feeling.
You can tell Joshua has an absolute love for his craft and he may have been a guitarist or a singer first and foremost, but the songwriting is where the power lies on this record.
These tracks can be impactful in more ways than one and he's able to display that with a tasteful approach and still have these songs keep to a little bit of looseness so that everything feels alive and breathing.
I feel like we need more music like this. Music that makes you feel and think.
Of course, this is a release that you want to listen to in full although each song has its own persona, you're supposed to soak this record in from beginning to end so that you can get the full message.
It's a three-track EP and really speaks volumes for the artist in terms of being able to pave his own path and create music with fewer boundaries than those before him but still write them so that they are addictive and catchy.
It's really the honesty that gets you. That character is very strong and goes right along with the music so that you can feel that emotional drive for each individual track.
It's almost like a short concept EP. Each song goes into the next and connects in a certain way like chapters in his own life.
This is a bit more of an experience than just an EP and I definitely look very forward to whatever else Joshua has coming up because whatever it's going to be, it's going to be based on his reality and it's going to be genuine and real.
That is exactly what I mean by we need more of this kind of music right now.
This record speaks out to many people and gives messages that a lot can relate to, so at times when certain people may feel alone, they can listen to certain songs off this EP and realize maybe they're not, which is a beautiful thing.
With the release of such a wonderfully woven EP, we wanted to have a sit down with Joshua to find out where this all came from and what might be next for the artist.
Here's what happened.
Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you as an artist?
This whole adventure started the minute I sang my first song! I was literally a year old. My brother always encouraged me to sing with him. I remember I would always sing back up on songs for him, like Santa Claus in Oogie Boogie’s song from a Nightmare before Christmas, or Seymour in Feed Me from Little Shop of Horrors.
My songwriting journey in particular began in 2020. As with many people, I started to discover new interests during the pandemic, one of them being songwriting. My dad would encourage me from time to time to write, but it was after I got my first guitar, during quarantine, that I really started delving into my poetic side. After that, I couldn’t stop! I was hooked.
Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you?
I have to admit that love gives me the greatest inspiration, whether it be love for my family, or love in a romantic way. In my life, it has been the most powerful emotion I’ve felt, and many nights I have found myself writing for hours from the exigence of love. What can I say? I love love.
Buzz Slayers: This release has some great approaches to it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?
This question is tough because as I was writing these songs, I was not necessarily thinking of what artists they should sound like. I was writing from the ideas that inspired them, like innocence or prom night. The most inspiration from other artists came during the production stage. I know for a fact that for the title track, "Show and Tell", Over my Head, by The Fray, was an influence in the production period. I knew I wanted "Show and Tell" to be a rock song, and the others to be a bit softer while keeping the intensity.
Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
I’m dancing. I am currently training in Ballet at the Joffrey Ballet School, located in New York City. It blows my mind that I’m able to do so many things that I love every day, like practice ballet, and then come home to work on music. I am beyond blessed to be able to nurture both sides of my artistic passion.
Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?
I’ve been listening to a lot of JVKE lately. His songs are making waves across TikTok and he has become a household name in just a few years. His talent is so evident, and he understands what people want by merging a beautiful, classical piano with more modern, electronic equalities.
Buzz Slayers: Are you all doing any live performances right now?
Not yet! I’ve been trying to figure out how to do a live performance, so all I can say is I’m working on it! It will happen at some point, so stay tuned.
Buzz Slayers: Do you record these at a big studio, or do you have a home studio set-up?
All three of these tracks were recorded at East Bay Recorders in Oakland, California. The atmosphere was crazy cool and it was absolutely the best place to record my songs. Whenever we were hungry, we would walk 5 minutes to the nearest taco truck, so shout-out to that truck, and the people working there. Without you, we would have starved! There was also a basketball net outside, so I got to practice my hooping during breaks! (I’m terrible).
Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
More releases in the near future. I’m not going anywhere! I have some fun new songs I want to show you guys. All I can say is that next year is going to be one for the books! Get ready!
Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Thank you so much for listening. It has been such a dream to be able to release my music into the world. For everyone who has encouraged me and complimented me, you have made this whole process feel so worth it. Thank you!