Josiah and the Bonnevilles "Motel Mayday"
FORMAT | LP
Nothing that you'll hear on Motel Mayday, the second album by Josiah and The Bonnevilles, the sixth by the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist behind the band, hasn't happened. Every messy detail, every broken bone, every punch line tells a true tale. Motel Mayday's centrepiece title track kicks off the journey that would lead to the album, recorded first as demos in the mountains north of Los Angeles, before coming to London to record the album with Duncan Mills (Jake Bugg, The Hunna, The Vaccines). Raised in the town of Morristown, Tennessee, Josiah moved to Atlanta when he dropped out of school at 16 and found himself auditioning for American Idol and made it through the first round easily. Josiah didn't progress further, but was offered a deal with Warner Brothers, the only contestant in the series' history at the time to be signed without reaching the final 24. An album recorded in London was eventually released as a pair of EPs, by which time Josiah was back on the road. He self-released two albums, but after a particularly gruelling tour in a leaking bus, wound up in Las Vegas pondering his options. There his life moved on again. His new songs got him a new deal and a residency in L.A., where he gained a backing band and became Josiah and the Bonnevilles. On Trial, Josiah and the Bonnevilles' acclaimed debut, finally came out in 2018, but by then, Motel Mayday was well underway. This year, Josiah signed with British indie label Yucatan and came to London to complete the album. Girls, cars, bars and bad decisions dominate Motel Mayday, but written about in retrospect, they're shot through with humour rather than remorse. The Tennessee native's life is laid bare in his gritty, gripping lyrics, from romantic relationships hitting the skids to wonderful, whiskey-soaked one night stands to the struggles of being a rootless touring musician since the age of 17.