Aussie songwriter and guitarist Joshua Batten unveiled “Heavy Road,” – his first piece of music in two years – last week, and today we are exclusively premiering the official video for the song. “Heavy Road” is the first taste from Batten’s forthcoming album “Learn to Live Again,” which will be released October 3. Watch the clip below.
With “Learn to Live Again,” Joshua Batten has made the album he’s always wanted to make – and an important one. The sprawling 14-track album is an eclectic mix of songs that tell a cohesive story about the challenges and acceptance of mental health and neuro-diversity, set against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The story chronicles Joshua’s experience as a working musician on the Autism Spectrum, and how the pandemic forced him to reevaluate his priorities and ambitions, to a point where he could be more independent and forgiving of himself. It’s Joshua’s journey, but one which resonates far and wide beyond the personal.
“Heavy Road” takes a snapshot of the early days of the pandemic in the form of a break-up song. “I have always strived to take personal experiences and make them universally relatable through my songs,” explains Joshua. “With “Heavy Road”, and the “Learn to Live Again” album as a whole, I’m doing the opposite – taking a universal experience and giving an account of my own response.”
“Because of my condition, I get anxiety a lot quicker and a lot more often than most people. For the entire week before restrictions began, I was in a state of panic and stress. Usually, I can sense when a bout of anxiety and post-traumatic stress is coming on, and every time I think I’ve matured and recovered, those same feelings inevitably return. This is the ‘Old Heavy Road’, dragging me down, forcing me to feel the same despair and anguish I’ve felt before.”
“In the last week before COVID-19 restrictions were enforced, I continued my work as normal, but there was a heightened sense of trepidation, that everything could come crashing down at any moment. I likened the start of the pandemic to a break-up with a long-term partner after ignoring the red flags. I was desperately trying to hold on to some sense of normality and positivity before everything fell apart.”
In the final bridge of the song Joshua channels all his frustration into a stream-of-conscious rant, building up to a crescendo as he begs and pleads for answers to all the questions that have built up, finally asking “Where do we go from here?”
“Heavy Road” is a song for and about these times. It’s Joshua Batten’s journey – and it may well be part of your journey too. Musically it’s for everyone.
“Heavy Road” is available to purchase and stream HERE. Pre-orders for “Learn to Live Again” are also available via Bandcamp. “Learn to Live Again” is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.
Check out our review of Batten‘s previous studio “The City Within” album HERE.