If you have ever fallen asleep in a bed full of velvet on a rainy summer afternoon, you might have a basic idea of Joshua Worden’s voice: warm, languid, even sensually humid. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the soulful singer is an independent artist in every sense, writing, recording, and producing all of the music on his recently released debut album Always This. His misty mix of warbling synths and R&B vocals could easily be compared to the work of James Blake and Frank Ocean, though the downtempo dreamland Worden creates is certainly all his own.
While the ten songs off Always This seem to somewhat melt into each other, it is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, the nature of his sound almost calls for such fluidity, allowing the listener to delve into “the drifting currents of the formless sea,” referred to in the glittering track, “The Road.” That’s not to say that nothing stands out. Despite its deceptively short lyric listing, the six-line, two-verse track “The Skies Glowed” displays an impressive range of mood and melody, starting off slow but then gently gaining power. The echo-y vocals of “The Turning Quiet” are also not to be missed, delivered simply and sweetly by Worden, who also takes a bit of a synth break and showcases his skills as a professionally trained jazz guitarist.