Download Den: Joshua James – Build Me This

Welcome to The Silver Tongue’s Download Den.

Here is where we will pass along the most intriguing and worthwhile songs that we’ve been fortunate enough to discover. Many will be songs we’ve been obsessing over in our homes with the record spinning and a drink in hand, and others will be melodies culled from our inbox that snuck up and got their hooks in us.

We’re not concerned with genre limitations or mere trendiness. We simply want to open the door for you to join us in listening to music that is making us excited about the power of a song. Check out the Download Den daily, and the least we can do is help soundtrack your day.

Joshua JamesIn what  I have to say is our best TST Download Den offering yet, we are passing along the opportunity to download the Joshua James’ 2009 masterfully rustic, gorgeous LP, Build Me This, courtesy of NoiseTrade. James is a breathtaking songwriter, and this sophomore release presented him as a peerless, young artist with a weathered, old soul digging up skeletons from American soil (James grew up in Nebraska and now resides in Provo, UT) and molding them into thirteen songs that comprise an unforgettable journey.

I bought this album back in 2009, after one listen to opening track “Coal War.” The song is the best example of the prodigious gifts of James as an original songwriter and musician. Perhaps, James’ most impressive gift as an artist is his ability to write songs that transcend music as mere entertainments- that are offered up as prayers, dirges, and celebrations. James is a storyteller and lyricist of the highest order (he was 25 at the time of  the release of Build Me This), and his words and singular voice have an inexplicable power to simultaneously break your heart and heal your subterranean wounds. From the broken-hearted, funeral waltz of “Magazine,” to the Neil Young & Crazy Horse electric stomp and howl of “Black July,” to the poignant, acoustic folk ballad “In the Middle,” to the somber prayers and sing-along cleansing of the exquisite “Daniel,” James’ Build Me This is a genuine, American classic.

I bought Build Me This a few short months before leaving my home in Indiana to embark on a new journey; I cast off for Texas to take a stab at becoming a writer in the fall of 2009. This album was my treasured company for hundreds, if not thousands, of heartland miles traversed between Indianapolis and Austin during that time. Not only have James’ songs not lost their immense power and beauty in the three short years and lifetime of experience since, as I play them now, they feel as essential as the blood coursing my veins.

Joshua James will release his first album since Build Me This, titled From the Top of Willamette Mountain, on November 6 with the great Richard Swift (Damien Jurado, The Mynabirds) producing. In celebration of the new album, NoiseTrade is honoring Build Me This by offering the album to you entirely free of charge (You can leave a tip though!). If you don’t own this album already, please take advantage of this opportunity and discover one of the most exciting and vital voices around.

Stream: Joshua James – “Coal War”

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