Josh Pyke is in an extremely awkward position for someone who is just about to release his third, much anticipated album and about to commence a national tour to promote it.
He is involved in a messy, controversial and somewhat intriguing love triangle. ‘who with?’ a fellow musician? An actor from the small screen? Or someone from his home town of Sydney? No. The answer, and here’s the awkward part. The dirty love triangle involves my wife and I. She is obsessed. And even went to extreme lengths to having his music at our wedding, just to indicate if things ever don’t work out between her and myself, the talented Australian muso better watch out, as she will be coming after him.
Obviously it was going to be awkward when I got the chance to confront Pyke about this. “Am I her hall pass guy, or have you not issued a hall pass”? He joked, as I laughed a cheeky obviously forced laughed while I felt a few knives stab into my heart.
I’m sure Josh Pyke is involved in millions of love triangles with his fans. His music does magical things to anyone who comes close to hearing it. It’s uplifting, inspiring, happy, and peaceful whilst so meaningful.
A few words come to jump to mind when describing him; consistent, driven, determined and versatile, with probably the most obvious trait for the clearly modest and grounded superstar being that he is always prepared to challenge himself. “It’s a reflection of me as a person trying to strategise my career. I need to keep moving and be involved with various creative people in various different fields. Humans in general, we need to push against something and as soon as you achieve it, you need to achieve the next thing” said Pyke, and that is exactly what he has done over the past few years since his last release Chimney’s Afire. He packed up, left the impending (is impending the right word?) Australian summer after a brief stint and tour with side project Basement Birds (alongside Eskimo Joe’s Kav and Jebediah’s Kevin Mitchell) and rediscovered himself in the freezing New York winter. “When you want some sort of creative drive you need to get out of your comfort zone, and a bleak New York snowy winter is as about as far away from home as I could” said Pyke.
Josh Pyke’s third album, Only Sparrows sees him expressing his versatility. We all know how good he is with a guitar in his hands, but in recent times we have seen him work with other high profile musicians in Basement Birds and he currently has a song released with Aussie rapper 360, testing every possible avenue that he can. The album is more band orientated than his previous two releases, but there is also strong evidence of Josh reaching a stage of his career where he understands that music changes, and to stay relevant, instead of fighting the change, one needs to adapt to it. “I’ve always thought that musical trends peak and trough but good songs just go along. It makes you feel good to know that your songs still cut through popularity or trends”. The first single "No One Wants A Lover" is a prime example of this, with Pyke sticking to his natural blueprint of a peaceful and happy tune, but pushing the spotlight more onto his band. And most importantly, this cuts through the plethora of RnB, dance tunes (predominately Pitbull), dominating our music industry in 2011.
So here we are, a few weeks before the release of Only Sparrows and sooner after the start of a national tour, I had to ask Josh Pyke, while I was admiring his finely groomed facial hair, with a tinge of red, wondering if that was what attracted my wife to him, along with his dulcet tones – if he could describe in one word, the emotion that dominated himself prior to a new album release. I was thinking some of the words could be ‘nervous’, ‘excited’ and possible ‘anxious’, but he was thinking otherwise. “The one word would be virginal, it’s like you don’t know how it’s going to perform you don’t know how you’re going to perform, if others are going to be satisfied” said Pyke, and as much as I had a giggle that he used that particular word, seeing I have a filthy and childish mind, I understood completely.
Josh Pyke is feeling virginal, and I am feeling even more jealous as every time I speak to him, or hear one of his flawless songs, I can understand why my wife is madly in love with him. And she may have a fight on her hands, for his love.
Only Sparrows is out in August, Josh Pyke is touring Australia in September
- Jarrod Walsh, NovaFM
Photo: Getty / Getty Images Entertainment / Gaye Gerard/Stringer