What: Josh Dillard CD Release Party
When: 9:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: hi-dive, 7 S. Broadway, Denver, 303-733-0230
More info: hi-dive.com
Josh Dillard — an indie folk musician formerly of Fort Collins, currently in Colorado Springs and soon-to-be Denverite — will celebrate the release of his second full-length record Saturday night at the hi-dive.
We talked to him about the beautifully arranged The Bright Light of Shipwreck and the inspiration he found in his own past and the Biblical past.
I was just listening to the new album and it’s got me feeling a little melancholy.
I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.
It’s good. It’s very pretty. I just wonder how you survive making something that feels like that.
I guess you have to be melancholy to survive it.
It’s pretty emotionally exposed and personal. Does that make an album release feel more significant or scary?
I think we’re definitely excited. I think that’s kind of the nature of the beast with this style of songwriting that I have. It’s not very controlled and I think the process is, honestly, a bit mysterious to me, and a lot of those songs are just the way I’ve been able to process past histories. I think it’s something that’s been able to come out and that we want to perform. Beyond that, yeah, I think we really want our music to be emotional and have some substance to it. And we can’t find ways to make that happen for people. We just have to hope it connects in some way.
So are the stories on the record most personal or are some fiction?
Almost all the songs are autobiographical, I guess you’d say. The first song is more of a narrative of an old Bible story, a character that was around Jesus at the time. I’m a little fascinated by that.
Can you tell me a little more about writing that song?
Well, actually there’s a decent amount of lines in the album that come from the Bible, that I’ve been influenced by or intrigued by as I’ve read through it. I’ve been reading through it over the years. I think it’s become a little more a part of my processes and my thinking — exploring those types of things and exploring the big questions of life.
There’s an ocean theme in both of your album titles. Is that intentional or did it just happen?
You know, it wasn’t intentional, but it’s funny that that’s how it happened. It can be a metaphor for some past history that I’d worked though previously. The title of this one is from a poem by George Oppen. I don’t know if you’ve read him at all. People really seem to love him. I’ve read a lot of this stuff this year and that line kind of hit me like a bolt of lighting. I chose it for the album because it seems like a golden thread that ties all these songs together. Can something beautiful come from suffering? Can light come from darkness? If the darkest hour is before the dawn, does that make the dawn more meaningful?