I remember when I wrote my first review on Josh Kempen. It was 2015 and his sound was the sort of stripped down D.I.Y. acoustics so favoured in the scene. That, laced with a little Italian influence and he was rearing to go.
Almost four years later and, post writing hiatus in Australia, Kempen has returned to home soil and dropped this polished, poised ode to nostalgia and longing – and in some ways to his homeland.
To be honest, it would be a little too cheesy if it weren’t for Soulphia Town’s welcome inclusion. Rooting the sound down firmly into African soil, the choir group sweep into the track intermittently, dropping rich vocalism which goes down a treat every time.
The video, shot in Cape Town, is just as welcomingly South African. Kempen strolls the grey Atlantic shores with a lover at his side. They wind down fynbos-fringed coastal roads – I’d recognise the R44 anywhere – and he serenades her at the fireside.
It’s off-kilter pop, unpredicatable and wholesome in it’s versatility.
It’s good to have you back, Josh.