Best known as the founder of indie rock outlet Paper Arrows, Joe Goodkin is stepping out on his own for the first time with his very own Record of Life. Taking sonic cues from his operatic folk rendition of Homer’s Odyssey, he’s achieved an individualistic sound differing from the Arrows in overall delivery, layering ambient strokes of his electric guitar to create an ethereal setting. In and of itself, this setting enhances the experience forthrightly, most definitely depicting a world from within which Goodkin is able to tell his own “folk opera” in regards to his own life. Hence, Record of Life. Clever, right?
Wit aside, Goodkin debuts his frankest, most emotionally-affecting work of his career over the six tracks of which Record of Life is comprised, dealing with explaining his take on more sweeping facets of human life through the exemplification of his own experiences. Perhaps this is most palpable on “Gray”, which has to do about Goodkin’s own personal losses in life, regarding his dog and his grandfather, specifically, as well as “Three Ghosts,” which has to do with three individuals who had committed suicide. Incredibly straightforward is the prescription by which Goodkin stands when writing out Record of Life, and the beauty of its simplicity is absolutely able to be felt. All in all, a record for all of those in need of an empathetic shoulder, those in need of a bit of truth in their musical storytelling, and fans of introspective folk-rock.
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