Chimney’s Afire – Josh Pyke
By Chris Peken
Josh Pyke knows how to written a great single. Middle of the Hill introduced him to the music world, and remained the centerpiece of his debut album. The Lighthouse Song, the first single for his second album Chimney’s Afire is not as immediate, but likely to catch you humming it unawares never-the ‘less. Not that it is the only tune from this album that will stick in your psyche. That Summer is destined for this summers radio, while Don’t Wanna Let You Down has gentle, lilting melodic pop appeal, along with the good-guy feel of it’s title. For Josh Pyke is a good-guy. His songs have a strong seasonal feel, his characters very insular, inwardly contemplating their plights. If there is a lacking it is for a stronger lyrical engagement with the outside world, confrontation as well as contemplation. With a strong feel for the intersection of folk phrasing and pop music, Pyke has more than a touch of the Cat Steven’s at times, perhaps some Cat-like convictions will follow.