Indie guitarist and singer-songwriter Joe Goodkin is working on a new EP titled Record of Loss. With a drop date of February 10, 2017, this EP is an apt audio follow-up to his previous EP Record of Life and a third release tentatively titled Record of Love. On this solo project, Goodkin records every song using a 1963 Gibson ES-125t guitar tuned to a non-standard tuning (DADGAD), recorded in every possible configuration, layered up to eight times per track.
The EP opens with “Nothing to Lose”. This song contains the same music as “Something to Love” which is the last song on the first EP, Record of Life and thus connects this new disc with the prior one. It’s a strong story of loss and has an unexpected ending as life often does.
The second selection is “Never Come Back”. Considered by some to be an aural palette cleanser, it is another song of loss and the fragility of life. This time the subject is Goodkin’s grandfather who reportedly died suddenly.
“Charlie and Roger” is the first of a trip of paired “name” songs inspired by his study of the Greeks who believed that if people sang about you then you lived beyond your mortal life. It’s followed by the second paired “name” song titled “Sarah and Julie”. “Sarah and Julie,” tells the tale of two women who died of a disease and further cement the overall concept of the EP.
The next number, complete with backwards guitar–for fans of that effect– is the final part of the song trilogy, “Eric and Gina.” It concerns his wife and her former partner whose act of suicide is referenced in his previously released piece, “Three Ghosts.” The personal references here are surprisingly honest and perhaps even somewhat brutal.
The EP’s closing cut, “For the Loss”, is an apt album endnote on abortion, death and the emotions experienced by those who survive. Overall, Goodkin has the ability to sing about depressing subjects and yet put a positive or at least uplifting spin on the songs of real life situations. The universal themes of his work, even though sometimes dark, are presented in a way that still offers the careful listener some hope. So check out Joe Goodkin’s EP Record Of Loss. You’ve really got “Nothing to Lose.”