Canadian singer/songwriter Joshua Hyslop made one of 2012’s most impressive debuts with the release of “Where the Mountain Meets the Valley.” It was a near-perfect collection on folk/pop tunes that narrowly missed a place on my Top 10 favorite albums of the year. As such, I had high hopes for sophomore platter “In Deepest Blue” … and I’m happy to report that the Vancouver-based musician has managed to meet — and exceed — them.
“I want people to listen to ‘In Deepest Blue’ from beginning to end,” Hyslop notes. “If they do engage with it, I think optimism will be the one thing they’ll feel. Whatever that looks like. I think they’ll find their own personal meaning. Beyond all the chaos, you find the deepest blue. It’s the calmness we all have. It’s the hope inside.”
Hyslop surely will appeal to those who enjoy the music of Damien Rice, Ryan Adams and Iron & Wine. With a hint of a rasp in his voice, he offers up a series of stellar tunes that include “The Flood,” “Everything Unsaid,” “Living & Dying,” “Last Train Home,” the title track, “Come Away” and set closer tonight. This one’s a winner, folks, (Jeffrey Sisk)