Though named after one of its members, Bassett is actually a duo that brings two culturally and geographically disparate individuals together. Josh Bassett, who donated his last name to the alt-folk outfit, was born and raised in New Jersey while his partner Tak Ozaki hails from Kobe, Japan. But even as individuals Josh and Tak embody rich cultural diversity. Josh grew up in a religiously mixed home, which he soon left to pursue musical studies in the University of Miami. Seeking to broaden his horizons as an artist, he packed up his bags for the West. Landing first in San Francisco, then moving later to L.A., he lent his multi-instrumental skills for hire in a number of studios as a session musician. Besides a few dollars he gleaned precious knowledge in mixing, engineering and music production, enabling him to record his own songs end to end.
How did Josh come across his Japanese counterpart? Bass maestro Tak migrated to Dublin from his homeland in a similar quest for his artistic identity. Here he learnt English and joined a band which toured Europe extensively before heading across the pond. While playing shows in L.A. he came across Josh and the rest, as they say, is history. They began their life as a band by touring the States rigorously hitting venues in the West, East and Midwest where they delighted music lovers with their psychedelic take on folk music. Besides entertaining the good people in their various stops, Josh and Tak made it their mission to sample the best of the local cuisine wherever they went. In 2013 they put down their musical expression on vinyl, releasing their debut album ‘Vanishing‘. It was a classic rock affair that perhaps reflected more of their influences than their own musical DNA.
For their new project, ‘Ghost Hwy’, the duo drew inspiration from the wilderness of Joshua Tree in southern California. In the solitude offered by the desert, Josh was able to dig deep into his soul and find his inner voice while dealing with some ghosts from his past. This is why the hard riffs in the previous album have been replaced with acoustic instrumentation. “I was going through a period of intense shyness so I wasn’t cranking up the amps…I was tinkering on acoustic instruments and soul searching with my voice,” he says. After soaking up the desert vibes Bassett retreated to the studio to record a new set of introspective songs. All six of them will become available on November 19 but there is a taster in the form of the single ‘Away’. There is a deeply haunting aura to this song generated by the banging of tribal drums and Josh’s slowly vibrating falsetto. Sample the tune below and keep up with Bassett for the news in the lead up to that sophomore release.
Miami Based, Internationally Known