In a world as turbulent and as dystopic as the one we currently inhabit, an endless desire for relief from life’s woes can be forgiven. As humans, we often search for something obscure; a comfort crutch to carry us through the trials and tribulations of the 21st century. It could be a billion and one things, but for some, it can be music, and it can be worship.
Family-based worship folk-rockers The Josh Walker Band craft not a comfort crutch, but a collection of songs that softly light up the dark paths we often tread. Unlike last years’ somewhat dark and desperate Captain My Soul – where a series of family tragedies trampled their spirits and sent them searching – Gravity pulses with the positivity of a family who’ve found, once more, the power of love and faith in times of need.
The Walker family’s talent lies in their ability to craft songs that bubble and boil and build; each of the five songs that make up Gravity begin quietly, before breaking into a big band spirit that roars with passion. Opener Made For Love softly plucks itself into existence, gentle strumming lighting the way for Josh Walker’s storytelling.
Made For Love, and the songs that follow, are held together by the harmonies of Josh and Amy Walker, who fit together like puzzle pieces. Every harmony is perfectly planned and executed, often acting as the building blocks to the powerful choruses that centrepiece each track. These songs could easily be sung without harmonies, and yet, the tiniest of harmonies and melodies set this collection of worship folk songs apart from the rest of the stacked-high pile of worship folk acts.
Warmth is the underlying current that runs through the veins of Gravity, bringing it thoroughly to life. Walker explores the complicated crossroads between his faith, his love, and his doubt. The storytelling here is warm, as is the music, that gently soothes you, taking you away from your own doubts. Simply put, it’s human, and in a world where most musicians seem like super-beasts too far to touch, the Josh Walker band feels relatable and somewhat welcoming.
It is clear that Josh Walker and his family were moved momentously by the events of their private life, and yet here, they act as enlighteners rather than the ones being enlightened. Lyrically, it’s simplistic and accessible, yet with the right attitude, this collection is utterly thought-provoking. Lines as pure as “you pull us closer with your light, you will open up our eyes, you are the heartbeat under this life we lead” are sung so delicately with such conviction that you can’t help but feel your heart heal and the light glow.
Found By You is the midway highlight, a tender bordering-on-country folk expression of love, hope, and faith. Here, the perfect planning of harmonies lights up, showing off a band who should be reaching for higher shores commercially.
If you’re looking for a relief from the cold realities of the world, the warmth of the Josh Walker Band’s songwriting and storytelling are the perfect escape.