TRACK BY TRACK: Joshua Bassett's Debut EP
Fresh off his success playing Ricky in "High School Musical: The Musical - The Series", Joshua Bassett released his much-anticipated self-titled EP on March 12th, complete with 6 songs about reputation, regret, and finding love after heartbreak.
Fans will find a lot to love in Joshua’s soulful lyrics and complex instrumentation, much of which he played himself!
Eager listeners will certainly try to make connections to Joshua’s past and current relationships, but it seems we’ll never know for sure what really happened in his love life. For now, we have his music, so let’s dive into a track-by-track breakdown of Joshua Bassett!
Opening with a 20-second piano intro, “Sorry” chronicles the downfall of a relationship in third person. With a pop beat backed by the continuation of the piano melody, the song sets the mood for the EP with its theme of a boy reflecting on the mistakes of a past relationship. In this scenario, the girl tells the boy he’ll be sorry he left her, and, from the boy’s perspective, “Her heart was his responsibility / But he didn’t know how to hold her clearly.” The song also showcases the range of Joshua’s talent: he plays the piano, guitar, bass, and synthesizer on the track!
2. “Do It All Again”
This more mellow ballad finds Joshua singing in first person, reminiscing on an imperfect love that he would still choose to go through again. It feels nostalgic while still viewing the relationship in an honest light. Joshua lays his initial hurt on the table: “I’m not yet used to only being friends / This hurts too much to hide.” If there’s any room for fan speculation, it would be in the line “We weren’t perfect” in the chorus that parallels “And I know we weren’t perfect” from Olivia Rodigo’s “drivers license”, which has lead many to suspect the song is about her. We’re just focused on the sweet sentiment “Do It All Again” shares with its audience, and we won’t lie, we’re imagining he’s singing it to us!
3. “Lie Lie Lie”
The first single released off the EP, “Lie Lie Lie” amps it up with a strong guitar intro, riffs, vocal runs, and complex rhythms that show Joshua’s willingness to experiment out of the box. We think it’s working! The song is less remorseful than the previous two and shows that Joshua won’t sit back and allow his reputation to suffer: “So you can lie / Go ahead and try / It won’t work this time / I’ll kiss your ass goodbye.” Joshua said on Instagram that he wrote the song after “I found out a friend had been lying about me behind my back for a long time.” That’s gotta hurt, and “Lie Lie Lie” is the perfect vehicle to let out his frustrations.
4. “Only a Matter of Time”
We move back to a quieter string and guitar opening with “Only a Matter of Time”, which continues the narrative of “Lie Lie Lie” with its opening lyric: “Look me in the eyes / Tell me you’re not lyin’ to me.” He again renounces a wrong done to him in a relationship, but the song also presents a more nuanced picture of the other person, with lyrics like “When did you stop bein’ kind?” and “I’m sure that you’re hurting inside.” Joshua’s falsetto and backing vocals give the song a dreamy, somber quality, emphasizing the reflective nature of the song.
5. “Telling Myself”
Back with a snappy guitar, “Telling Myself” extends the reflection theme by commenting on the childish nature of a previous relationship (“We were runnin’ round, runnin’ round like children”) and how Joshua is trying to convince himself that the relationship was as good as he thought it was at the time (“Was it really that good? / I keep on telling myself it’s not what it was”). Questions are posed throughout the song to the other person -- “Did we stay together longer than we should? / Were we just playing pretend because we could?” -- that will seemingly go unanswered. However, one lyric calls back to “Do It All Again”: “And don’t get me wrong / I wouldn’t change a thing.” On this track, Joshua plays drums, guitar, bass, and piano!
6. “Heaven Is You”
The closing track, co-written with Sabrina Carpenter (and my personal favorite song on the EP), “Heaven Is You” opens with a soft piano and concludes the reflective arc of the EP, singing to one lucky person (purportedly Carpenter) that “You’re all I'll ever want / You’re all I’ll ever need / You’re all I ever dreamed of having.” Now that’s romantic! Joshua compares the abstract, perfect nature of heaven to the subject of the song, serenading her, “Lately I’ve been questioning my faith / Just one look at you is really all it takes.” He arrives at this metaphorical heaven after chronicling throughout his EP the hellish feeling of recovering from past relationships and mistakes: “I always thought that what’s been broken can’t be bought / And I would never not be running from my past / To think that I could be deserving of an angel / Didn’t cross my mind ’til you fell in my lap.” I’m going to need a moment.
Now that we’ve broken it down, do you have a favorite song from Joshua Bassett? You can settle in and stream it all day long on all available platforms. Happy listening!