Review: Midnight Ship – Joshua Kempen

Jolene Snowball reviews Joshua Kempen’s EP, ‘Midnight Ship’:


From the very first time I saw Mr Kempen perform live I was a huge fan, and I knew he would be one artist to keep an eye on. I have been tremendously excited to hear this EP produced by Thor Rixon, and I am most definitely impressed.

I’m not sure how to describe Joshua Kempen. Take a great head of hair, add an English/Australian accent, give it a suit, an electric guitar and a tambourine, and there you have him… But with an edge… Kind of like an acoustic Mick Jagger?

You’ll be able to stare at him and listen to his music at Oppikoppi this year too! Lucky you!

Something about the gentle simplicity of the opening track ‘Howling at the Moon’ reminds me of ‘Arctic Monkeys’ frontman Alex Turner’s solo stuff. Actually, now that I think about it, they also dress rather similarly … Good on ya lads!

I’m more than pleased that ‘I’m Coming Home’ is the second track on the EP, since it’s always been my favourite! The EP version is radically different to the live version which I wasn’t expecting, however, I think the female vocal adds something beautiful to the song. I still go rather weak at the knees when I hear this song. It gives me that feeling of wanting to dance with someone you love, in slow motion.


The title track ‘Midnight Ship’ stirs something up inside of me that i can’t really recognise. Am I happy? Am I sad? It’s intense to say the least. I love that it’s partly in Italian (as if a man in a suit with an electric guitar is not enough) and I love the sound effects that accompany the dreamy guitar!

‘You Are The One’ suits the rest of the album, with it’s soft vocals and somewhat playful instruments, and a little electric guitar strum here and there, which (I’ve decided) is a Joshua Kempen trademark sound. A sound that I like!

‘Ysabel Lola’ – the waltzy song… again with Italian kisses. I mean lyrics! And then a more groovy, finger snapping ending. There’s something cheeky and fun about this song. Maybe that’s what Ysabel Lola was like?

Joshua tells the story of Ysabel Lola in the documentary style of the last track of the EP. It’s a wonderfully romantic story, one that makes me want to pack my bags and head off to Italy in search of romance myself… Too bad… I’ll just order a pizza and listen to ‘I’m Coming Home’ one more time!

Download Midnight Ship here


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