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Album review: Joshua Winstead-MMXX

Joshua Winstead performing with Metric during the I Can See The End tour
Joshua Winstead performing with Metric during the I Can See The End tour

Joshua Winstead is most widely known as the bassist of the high energy electro-pop indie band Metric. But now, embarking on his first solo album, MMXX, he takes a step in a different direction and reveals to us a peek into just how talented he is as a musician, producer and writer.

MMXX is Joshua Winsteads’ way of showcasing his multifaceted variety of musical experience. I definitely hear some influences in the form of The Beatles, Radiohead and even a touch of Morrissey here and there. Tackling vocals, piano, guitar, bass, synthesizers, harmonium and trumpet, this album comes off as cryptic, giving subtle undertones of impossible love and fighting off  your inner demons no matter the vice. I’ve even noticed that the guitar and vocals are heavily emphasized, almost hiding any hint of a bass, which I think was the end goal. MMXX  is a transcendent  album that really makes you sit back and think about your life. It’s so easy to put on MMXX and just get lost in the harmonies and melodies that have been shared with us.Joshua Winstead has shown us that he pours his soul into everything he creates. A true visionary in the sense of an artist. In the song, “The Streets”, we hear the needle being used as a metaphor for someone trying to break him down and  “push on through”. This song really sticks with me. It resonates the message that there’s a needle in all of us and we can get caught up in our own confusion and allow that needle to get through our skin, so-to-speak.

Joshua spoke to Exclaim.ca about what the album represents to him:

“MM stands for Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., while the two X’s have a double meaning representing love and death,” he explains. “These two men loved you in different ways and fought for you in different ways, and they essentially died for the same reasons. Growing up as a biracial person, it was a deep and difficult thing to figure out what it means to be both black and white. The record among other things has a lot to do with coming to terms with racism and generally being an empathetic person.”

Joshua will be releasing his album on June 3rd on his website here in a pay-what-you-want form of release that has been popularized by Amanda Palmer and quite a few others. It really goes to show that there are still true artists out there that really care about people getting the chance to experience their music instead of just looking for a paycheck.

We were graced with the official release of the first track on the album, “One Heart” which can be seen below followed by the second track, “Games”, being released a few days ago. Check them out below!

MMXX

Track Listing:

  1. One Heart

  2. Beautiful Prison

  3. A Poison Cup

  4. Games

  5. What’s What

  6. Frozen Lakes

  7. The Streets

  8. Cold Battle

  9. The Time It Takes

  10. Here We Are

  11. Complications

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