Fault Line is out now!
Singer-songwriter Josh Needs has treated us with the release of his debut EP, Fault Line. To celebrate the release, the musician is taking MILKY through the release, track by track!
Across the EP, beguiling guitar melodies lure you into textural and dynamic soundscapes that unfurl beneath Needs' mesmerising vocal tones. There's a sense of nostalgia threaded throughout the release, with warm sonics wrapped around the musicians vulnerable and commanding performance. Recorded remotely over zoom sessions, the collection of songs navigates the fragility of healing, and returning to a place of purpose, captured through evocative and thought provoking lyricism.
The opening track to the EP started off from a guitar riff I had been messing around with after hearing a Jeff Buckley track Nightmares By The Sea. Silver Sheets has this eerie sound inspired by Buckley with surf rock drums and bass by Rob Calder (Angus Stone, Dope Lemon, Passenger) and grungy guitar tones. So I had the riff and an instrumental vibe on my laptop and was hanging out with my mate and fellow singer songwriter Dean Ray one night and I said “Hey Man, I’ve got this cool guitar idea I wanna show you, let’s see if we can come up with some lyrics and shit”. So we did. The underlying theme of this one is risqué about a lockdown hookup and not getting caught by the cops. I love opening up a band show with this one.
I thought a song titled Operation would be cool so I had it chilling up on my EP whiteboard for a couple weeks. Prior to coming up with the title, I had recorded at home what I call my untitled vibes on Logic where I come up with a guitar riff and a little drum part, pretty much a creative session on an instrumental and no lyrics. Wasn’t until I had a co-writing session that we pulled up the vibe track on my hard drive and picked the title from my whiteboard to give this two ideas a home together. Operation is on the more sensual side of the record and has a rather slinky sound to it with chorus pedal guitars and an Angus Young inspired solo. I’m pretty sure I got up a visual of GTA Vice City driving at night to help get into the zone when writing and producing Operation.
I had written the melody and chord progression for Fault Line after sitting alone with my guitar one night dwelling over a breakup. This song is about being caught at the breaking point and still trying to make things work despite everything. The drums on the whole record were recorded remotely by Brody Simpson in Perth and we chatted over zoom to get this stormy tone out of the kit using large kick and toms with crash and ride cymbals sounding like rain, inspired by Led Zeppelin I was digging John Bonham at the time. The guitar solo being inspired by War on Drugs heavy overdrive with tremolo and reverb for days.
SMOKE + MIRRORS
I was living above my dads pharmacy in South West Rocks during the lockdowns last year when I wrote Smoke + Mirrors. I packed up my studio from my apartment in Sydney and took all my shit up there with me to record the EP. A lot of the time I was spending my days at the beach smoking weed, listening to rough demos, mixes and tweaking lyrics of the songs. This one is about being a bit too high, heartbroken and catching myself in the mirror, being totally freaked out with the double metaphoric meaning of deception of a person being all Smoke And Mirrors. My favourite part of this song is my harmonica instrumental section going into this flowy outro where the band and I can jam on at gigs.
Captain Lonely was another title I had on the whiteboard where I had both a sonic and visual story idea of sailing on a ship in the ocean being the only one out there. At the time of writing this I felt like I didn’t have many people around me to help what I was going through with a breakup and was feeling lost with music, not having a team or much support, I was doing it all myself. My dad has this saying “You can’t change the wind but you can adjust your sails” and it sums up the lyrics in Captain Lonely steering your own ship, your own course in your own time and going with the flow.
The last track on the EP and suitably rounds it out. I wrote Yesterdays News while on tour in Darwin in 2021. I had this Bob Dylan-esque verse - refrain - verse - refrain idea where the refrain was “tomorrow comes with yesterdays news”. But it sounded unfinished and needed a little reworking so at 3am with a joint under a garage at this place my mate Dean Ray and I were staying at in Darwin, we wrote the chorus and moved a couple sections around to finish it. This song is about going through a hard time, just getting through the day and no matter how much you might be working on healing, tomorrow is going to bring you back to the same old feelings again.
Fault Line is out now!