New Music: Joe Hicks


By Eve

Singer-songwriter Joe Hicks presents his first full-length album, The Best I Could Do at the Time, out this September. Raised in the rural market town of Newbury; Joe Hicks blends pop, blues and folk influences, combining intricate guitar composition with classic pop song-craft. The Best I Could Do at the Time is an earnest collection of music, combining Joe’s exceptional songwriting and pop sensibilities with a boldness to wear his heart on his sleeve. The singles, ‘Mirror Mirror’ and ‘One More Step’ have already gained critical acclaim on release earlier this year and provided a small glimpse into what to expect from the album.  The former, which brings you straight in with a guitar riff reminiscent of John Mayer, was actually the first song Joe wrote for the record. With ‘One More Step’, a song described by Joe as “probably the most ‘pop’ song on the album”, a riff in the chorus loops while the lyrics convey a frustration over remaining stuck in one place.

Opening with ‘Sail Away’ is pure euphoria, soaring and striving to remain positive while proclaiming “Love is all I need” no matter what happens. ‘Maybe When It’s Over’ includes bright guitars and layered harmonies that would not sound out of place on a Tom Petty record. ‘Alive’ follows a similar path and has more than a hint of Americana, with the production allowing the musicianship to sing for itself, combined lyrically with a longing to break free. The sun-soaked ‘Out of My Mind’exhibits yet another side to Joe’s polished songwriting as he dives into a pool of gleaming nostalgia for an electric-paced relationship that went adrift.  ‘Pieces’, is an ode to ending a toxic relationship. Reaching a glorious crescendo of strings and close-knit harmonies, the song conveys a message of hope while propelling forward. The reflective ‘Make It Home’ offers elements of country with a gentle half-time drumbeat and stunning chord progressions. The album closes with ‘Weightless’ which once again picks up this air of abandonment, finding enjoyment in a summer night out with its bluesy shuffle and easy-going sonics.

Upon the receipt of persistent encouragement from producer Sam Winfield (Amber Run, Fickle Friends, Robin Trower, Only Sun), this resulted in Joe writing his first full-length album. Winfield was on the mix, and production and provided keyboards. Mastering by Robin Schmidt with instrumental accompaniment by Joshua Rigal (bass), Lenny Brown (bass on ‘Alive’) , Ed Broad (drums), Tom Millar (percussion and engineered the album).

As a successful session guitarist, Joe Hicks released his first solo single at the start of 2017.He has achieved ‘BBC Introducing Artist of the Week’, a CLASH ‘Track of the Day feature and racked up3 million Spotify streams alongside appearances at CarFestThe Big Feastival, Are You Listening? Festival, Pub in the Park, over 30 Sofar Sounds shows and slots supporting Sam Fender, James Walsh and Starsailor.

Related Blog Posts