Josh Pyke – But For All These Shrinking Hearts

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One thing hasn't changed in Josh Pyke's life. His knack for writing beautiful, intelligent pop songs.

It turns out that the title of Josh Pyke's 2013 album The Beginning and the End of Everything was kinda prophetic, though maybe he knew that at the time.

This is thoughtful, friendly pop music. It's catchy, but intelligent.

After its release, some behind the scenes changes meant that Pyke was able to take more control of the way he operated. It was the end of one part of his career and the beginning of another.

He worked from his home studio, painstakingly constructing his next bunch of songs, but doing it at a more leisurely pace than usual.

Those who already love Pyke will find great comfort in knowing that his voice and general songwriting style are as on point as usual.

This is thoughtful, friendly pop music. It's catchy, but intelligent.

A few friends have helped Pyke out on the songs here. Dustin Tebbutt had barely crawled from obscurity when Pyke released The Beginning and the End of Everything, but now he's helped write one of the album's highlights in 'Momentary Glow'.

Jinja Safari's Marcus Azon was one new writing buddy that Pyke worked with on the album. Their coming together was rather fortuitous.

"I was in a cafe and I heard a song on the radio and asked the lady who it was and she said it was Jinja Safari," Pyke told Double J "I rang my manager and said 'I'd like to do a co-write with the guy from Jinja Safari, do you think you could hook that up?' They said, 'well, we actually manage them, so that should be sweet'."

Collaboration was actually a saviour for some of the songs on the album, including the moving 'There's A Line'.


"The original demo was really upbeat," Pyke said of the song. "It had a full drumbeat and electric guitars, but for whatever reason it wasn't working. John Castle, who produced the record with me, suggested that I strip it back and change the key. Play it like a finger picking, Nick Drake style song. I was a bit reticent at first but I gave it a go.

"Then we added Roscoe James Irwin's string arrangements to it – he's a horn player in The Cat Empire – we didn't even give him any direction, and he just created this beautiful arrangement. I feel like John and Roscoe saved it from the demo pile."

But his essence isn't dulled while working in tandem with others. But For All These Shrinking Hearts is unmistakably Josh Pyke. The songs are approachable, as if they're coming from a friend, and every lush sound is a treat to hear.