Week in Pop: Joseph Black, Kazitexx, Linqua Franqa

Sjimon Gompers

Introducing Athens, GA's new influential icon Linqua Franqa; photographed by Stacey Piotrowska.

Joseph Black

Catching up with the creative Joseph Black; photographed by Landon Speers.

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Joseph Black has spent the past years soundtracking the avenues & outlets of independent pop. From assorted works & outfits ffrom Donovan Blanc to Honeydrum; Joseph has set out on his own to create the debut solo album Northern Exposure available February 23 via the cult underground imprint Chill Mega Chill. The perceptive precision carried over from the aforementioned acts shines through with a more personal and intimate edge that invites the audience to enter the artist’s pensive world of wandering thoughts & streams of consciousness that gently course through tributaries that pay tribute to all the solitary singer-songwriter traditions heard throughout the past half a century.

Presenting the world premiere for the single “Be Still the Light”, Joseph Black invites the audience to join in on an illuminating walk through meditations on the nature of change in the world & in our own lives. The evocative arrangement strolls through the halls & mantles of memory, where the passage of time is observed through narratives of discontinuities that ponders the purposes of the departures & arrivals of everyone we have ever known that has played some sort of important role in our lives. The mix of sentimental synths & expressive keys underscores the processes of thought like a forgotten European single from the new romantic era where desires to capture the glow of the sun’s light seeks to stop the world’s spin for a moment of honest pause & personal reflection. The narrative works like the feelings that arise when slowly looking through an old picture album of yellowing photographs where for those moments, myriad emotions & insights on the meaning of the past can sometimes be gleaned. The desires to control the cosmic clock creates a meditative paean to embrace all aspects of the present in our existence in a timeline that obsesses over both the past & the future (that oft overlooks moments that we will never regain).

Earnest reflections with Joseph Black; photographed by Landon Speers.

Joseph Black provided the following exclusive thoughts about the making of his first album Northern Exposure:

Northern Exposure, my first solo effort, is an ambivalent acceptance of the high frequency of change that has become like a static. Many people seem to thrive on it; whether it be changing the place or town they call home, their significant other, their job, their friends, etc. I have never been one of those people but that hasn’t spared me from being a casualty of it and I often wonder if somehow I’m missing out because of my failure to seek it. These songs are a cathartic reflection of some of the more significant changes that I’ve experienced through the course of my relatively short time on this planet. I would debate the idea that external or environmental changes are imperative to emotional growth; that may be true for some, but I think growth, at least for me, has been looking at people, places, and situations as reflections of a greater thread that despite one’s innate desire to keep close or put distance between, are ultimately subject to forces more powerful than one’s own actions. That isn’t to say I am some dogmatic believer in pure fate or destiny, but, the opposite is maddening.

Joseph Black’s anticipated solo album Northern Exposure will be available February 23 through Chill Mega Chill.

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