Joe Hicks blends pop, blues and folk influences, combining intricate guitar composition with classic pop song-craft. The Best I Could Do at the Time is an earnest collection of music, combining Joe’s exceptional songwriting and pop sensibilities with a boldness to wear his heart on his sleeve.



The singles, ‘Mirror Mirror’ and ‘One More Step’ have already gained critical acclaim on release earlier this year and provided a small glimpse into what to expect from the album.  The former, which brings you straight in with a guitar riff reminiscent of John Mayer, was actually the first song Joe wrote for the record. With ‘One More Step’, a song described by Joe as “probably the most ‘pop’ song on the album”, a riff in the chorus loops while the lyrics convey a frustration over remaining stuck in one place.

Album opener ‘Sail Away’ is pure euphoria, soaring and striving to remain positive while proclaiming “Love is all I need” no matter what happens. ‘Maybe When It’s Over’ includes bright guitars and layered harmonies that would not sound out of place on a Tom Petty record. ‘Alive’ follows a similar path and has more than a hint of Americana, with the production allowing the musicianship to sing for itself, combined lyrically with a longing to break free. The sun-soaked ‘Out of My Mind’ exhibits yet another side to the Joe’s polished song writing as he dives into a pool of gleaming nostalgia for an electric-paced relationship that went adrift – “I think the trick was keeping the production very organic, as well as including some negative aspects of the narrative to contrast with the musical feel”- Joe.

The slower folky moments of The Best I Could Do at the Time combine deft fingerpicking skills and Joe’s soaring falsetto to match the heartfelt lyrics, especially with ‘Pieces’, an ode to ending a toxic relationship. Reaching a glorious crescendo of strings and close-knit harmonies, the song conveys a message of hope while propelling forward. The reflective ‘Make It Home’ offers elements of country with a gentle half-time drumbeat and stunning chord progressions. Yet even with these melancholic themes of escape and broken relationships, hope and excitement still have their moments. Serving as a companion piece of sorts to the thrilling opening track ‘Sail Away’, album closer ‘Weightless’ once again picks up this air of abandonment, finding enjoyment in a summer night out with its bluesy shuffle and easy-going sonics.

“The Best I Could Do at the Time is a journey through many of the emotional peaks and troughs we go through as humans… It’s about acknowledging them, living in those feelings for a while and ultimately finding the hope we all have within us to take control and rise above the worst of them. The album is a real deep dive into all of my influences. Having to write 11 songs forced me to follow the thread of many ideas that stylistically I would have shunned in the past, and led to some of my favourite songs on there.” – Joe Hicks

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