Born in Portsmouth, England as the son of a model and a professional boxer, Joshua ‘JT’ Ferdinand spent his teenage years surrounded by local drama groups. In college he achieved the highest possible grade for his A level performance, chasing a dream to attend drama school. Now 28 and living as an asset manager in Ipswich, he has found his creative stride in ‘Last Words of Albion’, a melancholic folk demo that is brimming with potential.
An emotive track that sits alongside Laura Marling, Lily Allen, and Peter Doherty on CD Baby’s website, ‘Last Words of Albion’ arrives as a folk-infused history of Britain. Built upon flowing verse of poetic words and hushed vocals, the song encapsulates the 'gentle folk' genre, was also staying true to Ferdinand’s ‘arthouse’ foundations.
As the song begins, graceful, almost fragile vocals creep into focus, bathed in gentle piano keys and a melody that seems to constantly shift and sway; it’s subtle rigidity hidden beneath the melancholic tones of the female vocals. Emotive, poetic, and brilliantly self-aware, the lyrics fall as gentle strands upon their backing instrumentals, creating a solemn atmosphere that is simply intoxicating, and as soon as the song has finished you’ll be reaching for the replay button. Being a demo, there is an inherent roughness to its tone, one that manages to detract and enhance in very different ways. Being less polished, there is a more genuine and evocative nature to it, however, the balance between the vocals and instrumentals is on rare occasion imbalanced, blurring the sounds and distorting the clarity of the message.
It’s hard to quibble in the face of the ingrained, but the delicate beauty of ‘Last Words of Albion’ though, and demo or not, it’s a wonderfully provocative song, particularly with a new year just around the corner. True to form, and true to the spirit of a blossoming artist that is steadily becoming known for rejecting major contracts, ‘Last Words of Albion’ signals that Ferdinand is perhaps one of the last truly free and creative spirits.
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