Compared to Ed Sheeran and John Legend, R&B/folk-pop singer songwriter Joel Ansett has recently released his debut full length album, ‘The Nature Of Us’.
Originally from Spokane, Washington, Ansett released his debut EP, ‘The Living Room’ in 2012, which featured an acoustic cover of Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’. This prompted CBS to say about him in 2013:
“Our next video is one of the most amazing covers I’ve ever heard. I was about half way through before I realized this wasn’t a Jason Mraz song, but actually an acoustic version of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” sung by Joel Ansett, who I hope goes on to eventually cover every song ever made.”
The same year, Joel was named a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition with his song, ‘Loved At All’. He followed this up with 5th place honours in the 2015 Rocky Mountain Folk Festival Songwriter Showcase.
Joel has toured nationally, also opening for the likes of Deas Vail, David Cook, Andrew Ripp and Dessa. He’s released five singles, which allowed him the luxury of experimenting with new sounds, one song at a time. The support he received for these releases prompted him to launch a Kickstarter campaign, to record his first full length album. Thanks to his very loyal and energetic fanbase, Ansett was able to raise $25000 in 30 days, and so he spent 2015 writing and recording ‘The Nature Of Us’, which was released on November 23.
The twelve track album covers a number of genres, but the general feeling is one of mellowness, and reflects Ansett’s musical influences, which include artists such as Simon & Garfunkel, and Bill Withers. There’s a lot of Coldplay in his songs as well – in fact Joel could easily sing in place of Chris Martin without anyone noticing the difference.
Second track, ‘Already In Love’, is a John Legend tinged song, with finger clicking and demonstrates Ansett’s lyrical skill:
“I cannot deny you taking over my heart/you don’t even have to try/I’m in love with who you are”
“Take your fears/take your shame and all your scars/watch them fade away inside the comfort of your home in my heart”
‘Turn To Gold’ is a gentle ode to Autumn, whereas fourth track, ‘My Heart Is Set’, which immediately follows, is a far more uptempo, funky love song, while still retaining the idea of seasons.
Joel Ansett grew up writing songs together with his sister – with him putting her words to music. However he started his serious musical career in 2012, after receiving positive praise when performing on campus during his college years in Pittsburgh. He’s already built a very loyal fanbase from those days, who love that his songs are written from the heart. With the release of ‘The Nature Of Us’, it’s clear that this is just the beginning for Ansett.