The singer/songwriter's fifth studio album, 'Wax Wings,' continues a career aided by TV and movie synchs
Singer/songwriter Joshua Radin's fifth studio album, "Wax Wings," debuts at No. 21 on Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart and No. 7 on the Folk Albums tally with 7,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Radin recently visited Billboard's New York offices to perform the set's "When We're Together" and "Beautiful Day" (with guitarist Brandon Walters), as well as answer a few questions about the album and his career.
What was the inspiration for the new album's title?
It's a reference to the Greek myth of Icarus, who flew to close to the sun on wings made of wax and they melted and he fell into the sea. I always felt that was a great metaphor for my life when it came to love, because I always referred to my ex-girlfriend as my "sun" in past songs. I called her that because there are only so many times you can put your girlfriend's name in a song before people are like, "Come on, man ..."
You began building buzz in 2004 when your song "Winter" accompanied a touching scene in an Emmy Award-nominated episode ("My Screw Up") of the Zach Braff comedy "Scrubs." How important have synchs been in your career?
I'd been playing guitar for only about a year and "Winter" was actually the first song I wrote. I'd written it only three weeks before it got placed on "Scrubs." But, the first 10 songs I wrote would up in TV shows or movies. That time was like the TV and movie synch gold rush, when those kinds of placements were becoming more common. I'm very fortunate for the exposure. Those shows and movies still air all over the world.
The visual medium seems a natural fit for your intimate, descriptive lyrics.
I grew up loving film and writing screenplays. When I write songs, sometimes I have movies on TV on mute. Sometimes the visual images spark inspiration. I say there are two kinds of music: music that makes you want to dance and music that makes you want to feel. I guess mine's the latter. It's not dance music. It's "feel music."