No one can ever accuse Josh Ramsay of being a slacker. For almost two decades he has led the multi-platinum selling Vancouver pop-rock band Marianas Trench, while also collaborating with a wide range of other artists, most notably Carly Rae Jepsen, with whom he co-wrote her worldwide smash hit song, “Call Me Maybe.”
With the pandemic putting the brakes on any plans Marianas Trench had to follow up their 2019 album Phantoms, Ramsay threw himself into creating his first solo album, The Josh Ramsay Show (pre-save link here), which formally arrives April 8 on 604 Records. And it is a true solo album, as Ramsay wrote, produced and played all the instruments on it, with the exception of orchestral parts.
Fans will also have the opportunity to see Ramsay perform tracks from the new album live for the first time as his national solo tour dates are announced for May and June of 2022. Ticket information can be found here.
“I’d always planned to do this at some point, and this seemed like the right opportunity,” Ramsay explains. “If the pandemic hadn’t happened, I would have been busy with Marianas Trench. But I needed something to do in quarantine, and with no deadlines I could just tinker away at it. My goal was to try to do as many genres as possible, so it feels kind of like a variety show. I see it as my ‘calling card’ – not just as a songwriter, but as a producer and arranger.”
Ramsay definitely shows off a different side of himself on the album’s first single, “Lady Mine,” a blistering hard rock track that features a guest appearance from Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, who, along with label founder Jonathan Simkin signed Marianas Trench to 604 Records in 2004. Ramsay also ventures into modern country on “Best Of Me” (featuring Dallas Smith), ‘80s funk on “Beat The Devil” (featuring Serena Ryder), dreamy, anthemic pop on “Can’t Give It Up (featuring Tyler Shaw), contemporary R&B on “Delirious” (featuring Fefe Dobson), pure poptimism on “Perfect Mistake” (featuring Ria Mae), and uplifting pop on “You and I” (featuring Fionn).
Co-mixed with longtime Marianas Trench studio guru, Dave “Rave” Ogilvie, The Josh Ramsay Show presents the most well-rounded portrait of Ramsay’s abilities, with the most notable possibly being how he was able to experiment so much on the album’s 18 tracks and still make it a coherent listen from beginning to end. Ramsay says, “When I started sending Rave songs,” he said, “Don’t you know that when lead singers do solo records, they’re quiet, acoustic stuff? Did you not get the memo?’ But that’s exactly what I wasn’t going to do.”
However, The Josh Ramsay Show does follow the solo playbook of giving him an opportunity to open himself up more than he has in the past. Over the past two years, he’s experienced the pain of losing both his parents, along with the jubilation of getting married. All of those emotions come out on the songs “Miles And Miles” (featuring Ramsay’s sister Sara), “Spellbound” and “Like You Do.” It all adds up to The Josh Ramsay Show being a kaleidoscopic musical ride that is sure to change many people’s perceptions of Ramsay as a full-fledged modern musical auteur.
“I really wanted to write something upbeat, fun and irreverent, so I just hope it’s an uplifting listen for people,” he says. “I don’t think anyone needs to hear a sad-sack album right now. Losing your parents is a tough thing – something everyone will go through – but I’m in a positive place. So, even songs about that, I wanted them to be up lifting. I didn’t want it to feel like grief. I wanted it to feel like love.”
THE JOSH RAMSAY TOUR – 2022 DATES
May 2, 2022 – Calgary, AB – Bella Concert Hall
May 4, 2022 – Red Deer, AB – Memorial Centre
May 5, 2022 – Edmonton, AB – Shoctor Theatre
May 8 & 9, 2022 – Vancouver, BC – Hollywood Theatre
May 11, 2022 – Victoria, BC – McPherson Playhouse
May 25, 2022 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall
May 27, 2022 – Belleville, ON – Empire Theatre
May 28, 2022 – Ottawa, ON – Bronson Centre
May 30, 2022 – Brantford, ON – Sanderson for the Performing Arts
June 1, 2022 – Kingston, ON – Grand Theatre
June 2, 2022 – Guelph, ON – River Run Centre
June 4, 2022 – London, ON – The Grand Theatre
June 5, 2022 – Montreal, QC – L’Astral