Boy with guitar from Hampshire’s rolling hills, Joshua Savage, plays clean, sweet acoustic music for sore ears. Having spent his childhood living in France, his French influence adds a deliciously peculiar dimension to his compositions. Joshua has already achieved critical acclaim as the frontman of ‘Taming the Savage’, with whom he performed on BBC Introducing, and is now emerging as a solo artist. His fledgling EP ‘Mountains in Hurricanes’ captures a curious antiquated charm. He will transport you to a time when politicians were honest, men did not leave a lady waiting and university was free. Joshua’s flawless, resonant vocals are the ‘glace aux cerise’ on his EP. Nice voice, Monsieur Savage. But why should you listen to him? He’s just a boy with a guitar, and there were three of those in your GCSE Humanities class. You’ll pass a couple of ‘boyswithguitars’ on the high-street, trying to lure change out of disenchanted passers-by. YouTube will force you to watch 45 seconds of boywithguitar#62 before your weird cat video. They’re unavoidable. Yet dudes with guitars embody a singular sense of guilelessness and sincerity. Out to save the world with his tanglewood tw47 Joshua captures this charming naivety, yet retains a distinctive and rare grace.
So Joshua Savage is bringing back fresh-faced, guitar-strumming gentlemen but what separates him from the pack? When you label a musician ‘just another ‘boywithguitar’, you’re insulting their lack of distinctiveness. It’s the agent saying ‘he’s good, but so was the lad at last week’s open mic night, and all the lads on my backlog of demos I’m about to reject’. But homogenous Joshua is not. He’s not just a boy with a guitar, he’s a boy with a guitar and a trumpet! OK joking aside (yes he can play the trumpet) Joshua has the substance and exceptionality to crack the ‘boywithguitar’ mould. Granted if you’re looking for a soundtrack to scream and break stuff to, Monsieur Savage is probably not for you. ‘Mountains in Hurricanes’ is unlikely to cut it on angry bad day. However if you’re looking for a refreshing and rejuvenating sound, Joshua Savage is your man. Whilst living in halls, I was constantly engulfed by a lively variety of noises. Some noises were better than others but I had no general objections. Then I walked in one evening to my housemate blaring out Debussy. It felt like sinking into a warm bath. I want to walk in and hear Joshua Savage playing.
Joshua is a complicated man. Alongside his solo career Joshua has performed as part of the 4-man indie band ‘Taming the Savage’, who were accredited as ‘the best band on University of York campus’. Joshua has also recorded French concept album (free to download) composed entirely in French. A versatile musician, but his music is consistently timeless. He is a gentleman. He will be gentle and polite with your ears. He will not leave you disappointed. Give him a listen. And another listen. Let him treat you to dessert. A critique of this EP would be that Joshua has adopted a ‘one pace fits all’ approach. A full length studio album would definitely call for a more varied pace. Otherwise, find yourself developing an unusual penchant for France. Keep on singing Mr. Savage.
by Jenna Hutber