Review: Josh Pyke will warm and break your heart

I love it when albums have a story or theme behind them. No song seems out of place and they all link together, portraying a single strong feeling. That’s exactly why Josh Pyke’s But For All These Shrinking Hearts was a complete winner with no questions asked. The emotion poured into each song, through both lyrics and music, was undeniably admirable. We felt Pyke’s love and pain for this girl he was singing about with every note.

The album opened with an interesting intro to the first track Book Of Revelations. The sinister sound flowed onto a slow, chilled melody, embellished with little yet interesting details – the sound of chimes at the end, for instance. Late Night Driving was one of my favourites; a little violin is always a good thing, and the stellar harmonies did a great job at communicating the raw emotion of the descriptive lyrics. Beautiful words, such as “If we don’t do it, we won’t do it at all” and “You will always be a secret to me”, perfectly explained the problems within their troubled relationship and the fear of commitment that was the main thing holding it back.

From that, we went straight into the electro-pop intro of the first single There’s A Line. This track had a light, vibrant sound to match Pyke’s harmonic voice. The beautiful lyrics, wrapped in harmonies, show what a great songwriter he is, using clever descriptions to explore the idea of the great journey that is love. His second single Hollering Hearts also has a bright little melody led by an acoustic guitar. The folk roots really shine here, allowing complete attention on the importance of the lyrics. They open us up to the idea of young love and the initially fluttery feelings that take hold. It’s almost like our hearts are the first to know when we’ve found love, even in the darkest of times. I know this one’s going to be stuck in my head for a few weeks.

Still Some Big Deal was another stand-out track. I thought the piano sounded like raindrops, which was a nice touch to the incoming love song. This song was full of thankfulness and appreciation for everything she has done for him while she carries “the weight on her back”. It’s always nice for a girl to hear these things in such a genuine way, and shows that the love between Pyke and the girl in question was real. The final track Someone To Rust With was a great way to end the album because it shows that the story isn’t over yet. The guitar intro is light, like a music box, leading onto the true star of the album, Pyke’s lyrics. He sings that he is “looking for someone to rust with”, meaning he is either lost in love or he still hasn’t found the right girl yet. It was the perfect ending to an album that has so much more to say.

I finished the album wanting more, and I think you will too. Give the two singles a go first, then buy the album. It reminded me that love is real, even if times are tough. We are all just trying to find that person “to rust with”.

But For All These Shirking Hearts is available now via Wonderlick/ Song Music.