Joel P. West
I have two main reasons for using my SoundCloud; one of them is for this artist. He is a very versatile musician that not only enjoys making music with his band but as well as scoring a number of motion pictures. There is no shortage of creativity when it comes to the love for his work, I'm talking about Joel P. West. My love for Joel's musical compositions goes back a few years in 2014 when I was watching a film he scored. The story in the film itself was captivating and moving, but when you have a score that bleeds through the film, it beats hearts like it did mine. I have said before, one of my favorite qualities in cinema is the score written for it, making it a principal part in creating a certain tone and energy. When an artist can create that specific feeling that relates to the characters or helps arc the story, it truly touches people, it sort of transports the audience into the world that's taking place. The music is a great portal to find yourself getting sucked into understanding the story a little better. One of my favorite tracks that did this for me was Joel's piece Photograph in the film About Alex, Directed by Jesse Zwick (only available on SoundCloud). I loved the film itself, the story and the characters made me feel for the movie but a big part of it was because of the collaboration Joel contributed to help tell the story. I'm one of those guys that watch all of the credits at the end of the film, and I had to know who composed the music. Mark Isham? Rachel Portman? Nope, Joel P. West... I instantly became a fan.
I quickly learned more about Joel and his range in his music. Back in 2014 when I first started listening to him, he had scored just a handful of films; a Documentary Finding Home, a Short Film By the Time the Sun is Hot, and two films Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, I Am Not a Hipster and Short Term 12. Now he has expanded with his, now, 21 credits with his latest release of another film Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton The Glass Castle. All of these films are great sources to get the chance to listen to Joel's music in action, kind of a way to listen to him live at home. While we're on that note I would actually recommend seeing I Am Not a Hipster, it's a film that follows a talented Indie Artist as he struggles to stay creative, a story that is relate-able in this medium. The film's score wasn't the only contribution of Joel P., but a majority of the film's soundtrack was written and produced by him. It's refreshing, and a little surprising, to find that a gifted film composer isn't just scoring films, but also being a big part as a singer/songwriter to his bands. Like I said Joel is versatile and uses every medium as a creative outlet!
Here a little bit of the process that went into"Summer Storm" for "The Glass Castle"
His earlier band The Tree Ring can be described as a purity in indie-folk music, and when you listen to them you get the sense that you're scoring your own life. When I listen to The Tree Ring I'm usually around a fire enjoying the company of my friends and just having a good time. The music brings a sense of grateful gatherings, a great example of the sounds we love at Setlist - "A Community Through Music". You can go to Spotify and listen to the of The Tree Ring's three albums, which I would recommend doing. The music that Joel is involved in covers a wide spectrum using different sounds, I mean it makes sense.
Joel's latest band he is involved in is called Flood Coats; with Darla Hawn, who has been working with Joel since I Am Not a Hipster and Short Term 12 as well as The Glass Castle. They recently released their album Vaquita this last July. Again, there is a colorful use of sounds throughout this album, sometimes I here a little techno background to where I feel I'm in a purple-lit basement party with lights twinkling everywhere. Other tracks I feel like taking a night drive while Darla serenades me, so you get a lot in just a 9 track album, I could go on. I can really tell Flood Coats purely enjoys just making music and experimenting with sounds to put to their written stories.
Here's a little sample of Flood Coats, skatin' and creatin'
To be frank, if you need any type of music for any particular mood Joel's got you covered. Take the time and dig into this artist, you won't regret it.
Thanks for reading,
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