Releasing a debut single then soaking up the accolades from your bedroom is far from ideal. A postmodern tune that already feels like a well-worn classic, Everything In the Room cements San Joseph’s signature alt-pop sound, confirming him one of Australia’s most exciting new voices. His sophomore release adds another feather to his cap as the Melbourne artist fizzes with energy at the prospect of finally playing his first live shows.
“I’ve been in lockdown since Blink Twice came out,” Joey laughs, “so music for me has meant spending every day trying to figure out how to master social media in a way that feels like me.” The unique dissociation of being stuck inside weighed heavily on the young singer-songwriter; added to triple j rotation and clocking up half a million streams, but unable to physically connect with a burgeoning fan base or receive any feedback that didn’t come in the form of a heart emoji.
Gently delivered yet heaving with emotion, Everything in the Room is Joey’s way of illustrating this experience. Lyrically, it transforms the contents of his bedroom into a spectre of his own conscience, as he struggles to move on from someone he knows – and the TV knows – he should. “It’s been such a volatile state for me, mentally,” he says. “I had the sudden realisation that I’d been writing the same song a million different ways about the same person. It explores a paranoia that inanimate objects were judging me for not having moved on from my ex.”
The single sees Joey continue his creative partnership with close friend and collaborator Dylan Nash. “He took the reins in creatively expressing the song without losing that organic feel,” he says. “I’ve learned to put a deep trust in Dylan’s production vision, so I knew from the start that we were going to make something I really connected with.”
Driven by fingerpicked guitar arpeggios and Joey’s charismatic vocal delivery, the song swells towards a climactic final chorus that stuns with multi-layered harmonies and big tent drums. It’s perfectly complemented in the accompanying video, directed by ROME (Bennee, Mallrat), another collaborator returning to the San Joseph fold for this release. Shot in an empty house where the remaining furniture is encased in plastic, it embodies the song’s claustrophobic state before opening the door to more introspective, imagined futures.
Be there when San Joseph gets to play his first show. It’s going to be something sublime.