At school there are always a number of kids who dream of just being creative and artistic for their whole lives. They're going to slip in and out of cities and suck up culture as they float around the world penning spellbinding songs on their battered old acoustic guitar. Once they've left they normally become Accountants, and so a hybrid like Joseph Arthur is a treasured rarity.
Many artists try to write music, and too many musicians think they can paint. Thankfully Arthur is adept at both, and has even at recent gigs painted on stage during songs, "there's a sort of energy that gets into a painting you do live when there's a time limit".
His new album 'Our Shadows Will Remain', is testament to his versatility and the next single 'Can't exist', is a glorious example of why many people are anticipating that he will scale new heights in 2006.
A subtle beginning of organ and guitar and Arthur's voice (that sounds like he practices by smoking 40 cigars a day and has swallowed the souls of various legends like BB King and Mick Jagger), can't prepare you for the crescendo into the chorus. Wailing backing vocals harmonious blend with powerful driving electric drums and sumptuous guitar tracks.
Breaking back into the verse, you can't help but want to hear the above again, and you won't be disappointed, except when the song ends!
Set for release in May, 'Can't Exist' should see Arthur propel up above the over saturated mediocre sing/songwriters that seem to inhabit afternoon radio, and into the top echelons. Someone turn off Jack Johnson and tell Sting to put that paintbrush down.