Josh Kaufman Cooks New Songs for Cozy – Indianapolis Business Journal
Josh Kaufman will perform on September 17 at The Cat in Carmel. (Photo provided by Josh Kaufman)
Josh Kaufman, the Carmel-based musician who won “The Voice” TV talent show in 2014, says he’s more comfortable pursuing art than entertainment these days.
That’s why he cites Radiohead, Jeff Buckley and Sufjan Stevens as influences on his latest work, not Usher or Adam Levine — the two coaches Kaufman worked with on “The Voice.”
On Saturday, Kaufman will perform at Le Carmel, le chat, a comfortable venue that can accommodate around 120 people.
The show will focus on songs Kaufman is preparing for a 2023 album tentatively titled “The Depth and Darkness.” He said attendees should expect simplified versions of the material performed by himself on guitar and keyboards, accompanied by guitarist Cliff Richey and drummer Ryan Koch.
“I liked the idea of bringing in simple versions of songs that aren’t 100% arranged and finished,” he said. “Just put them in this listening room to see how it goes.”
After raising $100,000 as champion of “The Voice”, Kaufman released a self-titled EP in 2016 and an album titled “NDOXO Vol. 1” in 2019. The recordings featured bold presentations of pop and soul sounds.
He described his new songs as “closer to my heart and closer to who I really am”.
A song previously recorded for “The Depth and Darkness” is titled “The Seas of Unknowing,” and it’s defined by layers of Kaufman’s distinctive vocals.
“I wanted it to be intimate,” said Kaufman, who lives with his wife, Jenny, and their five children. “[‘The Seas of Unknowing’] doesn’t have a bass guitar in it. It does not have a full battery. I wanted it to feel a bit smaller but like you were in the room. I could have easily made this song big and ethereal with tons of reverb. But you hear that the voices are all very dry. It’s like you’re there in front of someone, and that’s how I want it to feel.
Thematically, the IUPUI graduate and former Anderson University student said his new songs are guided by issues related to philosophy and religion.
“I’ve always been interested in these things, so I let them come out through music as well,” he said.
Kaufman continues to be hired for high-profile gigs due to his accomplishments on “The Voice.” But a management contract and recording contract tied to the show are in his rearview mirror.
Now hired to mentor singers, Kaufman embarked on a career as a freelance musician.
“I was able to go back to ‘OK, this is one thing I really want to do, so I’m going to do it,'” he said. “Even if it means things aren’t as big or things aren’t as big, I want to have the freedom to be able to do things and do things and say things that are important to me.”
When: 8 p.m. Sept. 17.
Where: The Cat, 254 First Ave. SW, Caramel.
Information: Visit brownpapertickets.com.