Josiah Johnson – a former and founding member of the Billboard chart-topping band The Head and the Heart – is announcing his debut solo album today, titled Every Feeling On A Loop. It will be released via ANTI- Records on September 4.
On lead single “Nobody Knows” Johnson sings for people to have courage in sharing and receiving the truths of their hearts. The messages, like the man himself, are a welcome breath of air. Directed by Hannah Welever, watch the song’s new music video HERE.
“A lot of the growth documented on this album is about taking responsibility for how I’m showing up in the world, and that song was about taking responsibility for how I care for myself,” Johnson says. “Part of my experience with addiction was that I was having a hard time, but I wasn’t raising my hand to get the help I needed.”
Like many musicians before him, Johnson turned to drugs to cope with the burnout and anxiety that came with his early years in The Head and the Heart. Too many long nights and too few emotional tools - twin flames that burned at both ends. And Johnson collapsed into ash. In the midst of writing The Head and the Heart’s third album, Signs of Light, Johnson checked into a rehab facility. When he checked out, though, his work hadn’t properly been completed. He tried to get back into the studio with the band, but eventually was told, “We love you but we can’t have you here right now.”
With time, though, came clarity. Although the music came regularly, Johnson still allowed himself to fantasize about a life never returning to professional music. He still contemplates earning a degree in social work. Yet, the songs kept bubbling up. On Every Feeling on a Loop, lush musical arrangements and harmonies support Johnson’s baritone crooning. At times, the songs sound like prayers. At others, his exuberance feels like the euphoria he’d always sought, this time hard-earned and wiser. He says he feels like a new person making it, charting his journey out of the dark into the wide awake of the morning, using the magic that was his all along.
Growing up curious and bright in an insular, conservative community, Johnson says he learned early on to discern which parts of himself were welcome and which were not. Though he felt love in that community, it was a smaller love than what he needed. Now, though, after years of self-study and self-healing, bolstered both by music and the love from friends and family, Johnson is ready to pen the next chapter of his life.
“I’ve learned to love my process,” Johnson says. “I’ve learned to love when I’ve taken the long way and where I get to admit mistakes. Humility and uncertainty are welcome. Being seen for who I am and where I’m at is my priority. And I am exactly where I am supposed to be. The result of that new courage bears out in how I’m able to be a better friend to the people I love. That’s the gift.”