Since his first EP “Cold Wind” was released in November, Joshua Hyslop has focused the messages of his music around hope and positivity, and his newest album “In Deepest Blue” is no exception to that trend.
Hyslop is quoted saying the deepest blue is meant to be “the calmness we all have” and “the hope inside,” creating an album that sounds like Ed Sheeran collaborated with Iron & Wine and centered their album’s message on optimism.
Born in British Columbia and raised in Canada, Hyslop is incredibly optimistic and possesses great interpersonal abilities including traveling across the country, spending quality time with families who invite him in and sharing his message everywhere he goes.
“In Deepest Blue” is a pretty straightforward album. Hyslop is a Christian artist, and you can see the religious influence in his works.
The album opens with a track titled “The Flood,” possessing a voice soft enough to coincide with the softness of his music. The lyrics are based off of the biblical story “The Return of the Prodigal Son,” setting a general theme for the songs coming after. Later in the album is the track titled “Living and Dying,” which gives off an incredibly strong Iron & Wine vibe with lyrics describing Hylsop’s underlying fear of human mortality.
The next track “Let It Go” (not a reference to “Frozen”) and the second to last track titled “Gone” are a response to “Living and Dying.” Within these tracks, Hyslop is talking about relinquishing those worries and just enjoying life because “the lord knows/ [he’ll] be gone” eventually, and it is inevitable.
Because of his straightforwardness, he named the most important song of the album after the album itself. “In Deepest Blue” seems to be directed to an individual, and the remainder of the album also seems directed toward that same person.
Hylsop shows off his fingerpicking and guitar skills in the instrumental track titled “Instrumental” (not much thought put into that title, but it’s still a solid track).
The album finally ends with a track titled “Tonight,” which ties everything together by tying in references to previous messages heard in the album: accepting help when it is offered and finding the light in the darkness.
As a Christian, indie, folk artist, his work is the center of the genre and is unique when compared to other Christian artists. As an indie, folk artist alone, he is recommendable for those who enjoy a style similar to Iron & Wine and Jack Johnson.
By: Evan Wiorek, Volunteer