Singer-songwriter Josh Island has just released his new EP titled Love Don’t Come Easy. The EP opens a new chapter for Josh, who in his music has matured from a solo folk singer-songwriter in his debut EP three years ago to a more raw pop-rock artist today backed up by a full live band. His craft for songwriting and storytelling is reflected strongly on Love Don’t Come Easy. The arrangements, meanwhile, are pop-oriented without losing their strong elements of soul, funk and rock.
In an adventurous journey, Josh Island recorded the EP with renowned Portuguese producer Nelson Canoa in August of 2020 at his studio in Torres Vedras, nestled between picturesque wine fields and cafeterias an hour north of Lisbon. It is rare for a Luxembourg artist to record his music in Portugal, but Canoa’s work with some of the top-selling artists in pop, jazz and world music in Portugal (including Sara Tavares, Martim Vincente, Carminho, Pablo Alborán, Yami) meant he was the right person to record and produce Josh Island’s EP.
“We immediately vibed and understood each other on a human and musical level. His experience meant he would push me in getting the most out of my performance in the studio, solidifying my guitar playing and pushing emotion out of my vocals. His proactive way of working is something that did me well,” says Josh Island.
But the two weeks were all but a holiday: “I stayed in a little apartment on the coast, a beach that frequently hosts European Surfing Championships. I expected to at least have the weekends off. But no, I ended up not being in the water once and working until 2 am on some evenings. It was stressful but beautiful: I came only with ideas and left with five full songs.”
Prolific session musicians from the Portuguese music scene were involved in the project, including Miguel Casais and Rui Pity from the band Black Mamba, who will be representing Portugal at Eurovision Songcontest, as well as guitarist Guilherme Marinho and arranger Luis Figueiredo, who is known for his colourful orchestral arrangements, including the track ‘Amar pelos dois‘ by Portuguese Eurovision-winner Salvador Sobral.
The lead single "Fire In You" was presented on 13 November alongside an eclectic, contemporary music video directed by Ben Andrews, following the title track which was released on 26 February. Both singles were picked up by radio stations in Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands, with key rotations on SWR1, RTL Luxembourg, Radio Latina, as well as numerous local campus radio stations across Germany. "Fire In You" was added to Spotify Beligium's New Music Friday playlist.
The full EP is out now on all streaming platforms, as well as on Bandcamp.