The times in which we live are confusing, chaotic and complex-anything but simple. Aren't they?
Maybe. But the things that have always been important in life are still important, and those are the subjects Joshua Radin addresses on his second album, Simple Times. These songs, he says, are about "falling in and out of love. Making friendships, having friendships fall apart. Experiencing different parts of the world, seeing other cultures and getting a better perspective on how we live in our country. Everything that people generally go through."
"It's a personal account of my life through music," says Cleveland-born Radin. "They're all true and honest songs."
His parents raised him on the sounds of 1960s Motown, Stax and Beatles records, as well as singer-songwriters of the early 1970s like Paul Simon, Cat Stevens and James Taylor. But Radin only turned to music after college, when he moved to New York City, bought a guitar and began learning to play his favorite Beatles and Bob Dylan tunes. Soon he was writing songs of his own.
"I was always trying to find some medium to express myself," says Radin, who had previously studied art and spent six years writing screenplays. "When I started writing songs, I thought, ‘This is as honest as I can be: getting onstage with my guitar and my voice and singing for people.'"
Radin proved an extraordinarily quick study. A friend gave a demo featuring his very first composition, "Winter," to a TV producer-who promptly used it to score a scene of the sitcom Scrubs in early 2004. Other Hollywood types found his music just as evocative, and soon various Radin songs were being heard in other TV shows (Grey's Anatomy, Brothers and Sisters, American Idol, One Tree Hill, So You Think You Can Dance, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Eli Stone), as well as movies (The Nanny Diaries, The Last Kiss, Catch and Release) and ads.
Of Simple Times Radin states "I feel like right about now I'm starting to hit my stride, which is cool," he says. "With this record I feel like I can come out and say, ‘OK, I'm a fully formed artist now.' I just hope that other people like it as much as I like it."