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Josh Garrels | Jacaranda

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Ben Harper Digable Planets Sufjan Stevens

Album Links
Official Website

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United States - North Carolina

Other Genres You Will Love
Folk: Modern Folk Electronic: Down Tempo Moods: Type: Acoustic
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by Josh Garrels

A kaleidoscope of sound! From haunting melodic instrumentals to thickly layered beats & compositions, this album has something for everyone. Musical storytelling of a journey through new life, loss, and embarkation beyond.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Lake Yarina
2:36 $0.99
2. Don't Wait For Me
3:40 $0.99
3. Season Of Rain
4:45 $0.99
4. Rabbit & The Bear
3:47 $0.99
5. Centipede
2:44 $0.99
6. Zion & Babylon
4:47 $0.99
7. Never Have I Found
3:02 $0.99
8. Rejoice & Lament
3:55 $0.99
9. Words Remain
4:02 $0.99
10. Jacaranda Tree
5:10 $0.99
11. Little Blue
3:07 $0.99
12. Blessed Is He
4:34 $0.99
13. Desert Father
4:26 $0.99
14. The Original Spacefan
4:00 $0.99
15. Embarkation
4:08 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"On Jacaranda, his third album, Garrels simply does what he’s done before, but better. At heart a gentle folkie, Garrels picks his guitar (and what sounds like the charango, although the instrumental credits don’t tell), and sings his contemplative, mystical songs. His subjects – the wonders of the natural world, the still, small voice of God, the sorrows and joys of life on a fallen, dazzling planet – call to mind a young Bruce Cockburn, drunk on beauty, ripped apart by injustice and casual indifference. They are complex, nuanced, and lovely.

The two instrumentals that bookend the album set the tone: pastoral, quiet, soft enough to allow room for the chirp of crickets and the song of birds. In between the music shimmers and shines and continually escapes easy categorization; a straightforward folkie ballad here, a neo-soul workout with a hint of electronica there, a reggae-tinged spiritual lament here, a Peruvian cumbia there, with a choir of the angelic host breaking in occasionally just to mix things up. Garrels’ voice is wondrously supple throughout, and it’s a joy to listen to him soar into a pure, soulful falsetto. He sings about the birth of a child, the funeral of a loved one, the desert fathers of the early Church, the exploitation of the poor, the soul-crushing demands of the drab and routine, the subtle joys of walking by faith in the darkness. It’s a kaleidoscope of an album, every pattern reflecting an unseen but loving hand." - Andy Whitman (chief editor for Paste Magazine)
Jacaranda was written and recorded in the solitude of an old mansion, at the end of a gravel road, on the banks of the Mississinewa River in Indiana. Many years ago the same house was in the underground railroad as a place of refuge for escaping slaves, and later, in the 1920\'s, infamous bank robbers such as John Dillinger used the mansion as a safe-house in between their criminal exploits. In the tradition of using the home as a place of safe harbor for those on the move, the current owners Bill and Robin Lett invited me and my wife Michelle to live on the estate (which Bill affectionately calls "the pig farm") while recording this album. We took them up on their offer, and moved into the secluded manor as the summer months were drawing to an end.

As we watched the seasons change from summer to fall, winter to spring, we wrote, created and sang, all the while stalking the majestic Great Blue Heron along the banks of the river. The most recent season brought the death of a father, David Ramsdale, and the birth of our first child, Heron Selah Garrels.

Jacaranda is the name of a tropical tree, native to the jungle of Peru where my wife grew up. When Michelle moved to Indiana to marry me, she knew she would be "a jacaranda tree in Indiana, green-housed but sung to". This tree has become a strong symbol in this album, and in our family as well, of welcoming displacement as we wander the earth.

Josh Garrels



to write a review

jamie @ cd baby

I have been listening to this album since it came out and just realized it's up with us!
love it so much- can't weave words more beautiful than this
"I pray light will
Leak from out pockets
We'll be drenched, overcome

At night the fireflies
Streamers at our sides
Silent flaming arcs of hope

All things will change
We wait for the rain
And the promise remains"

Peters at CD Baby

This is easily one of the best albums of the year. Josh Garrels has crafted an album with the same genius and diversity as Sufjan Stevens or Rufus Wainwright. The album opener, \"Lake Yarina\", is about as perfect as any album can ever hope to start. It\'s mysterious, beautiful, and reminiscent of the soundtrack to Edward Scissorhands, which immediately sets up what you\'re about to hear as something fabled, mystical, and darkly wondrous. Which is an apt description of the album as a whole. \"Season of Rain\" speaks of praising the Lord when it\'s all gone wrong, and it\'s this kind of hope in the face sadness that permeates the album. Garrels achieves a wonderful balance between bitter and the sweet in lyrics such as this, and the tricky mixture of the organic and synthetic elements in his songs. \"Rabbit and Bear\" has a propulsive percussion element and lyrics of ecstatic joy where \"everything is free in the light of the sun\". Overall, the album feels a bit like the better stuff from Joseph Arthur, or at times like Jeff Buckley, had he been a bit more restrained and starting singing on porches, with drums loops to accompany him. The theological theme throughout the album help lend the songs a bit of gravitas and remind the listener that these aren\'t just pop songs, these are songs about the nature of the universe, as interpreted by Garrels\' heart-wrenching songs. And thank God for them.

evan wathen

I was fortunate enough to catch Josh live in 2003 at a new artist stage during a festival. It was then that I saw the depths of talent and knew he would have great things to come for years. His newest album is perfect. Christian or not, his songs will grab a hold of a little piece of you and continue to haunt you.

Chanda Cooper (recording artist)

when i stumbled upon josh garrells i felt like i had just stepped into a second-hand shop and found that treasure of a lifetime. he was like music\'s best kept secret. and in that small church in the lower mainland... we gave about 3 standing ovations and no one left the same. this lover of Jesus inspires me to be a lover of Jesus in all areas of my life... especially in my own music. (www.chandacooper.com)