Music and comedy have always had an interesting relationship, both straddling many of the same creative line but only rarely intersecting. Now, stand-up comedian Josh Johnson is preparing to bring that relationship to an entirely new level.
As announced on Tuesday (April 13), the critically-acclaimed comic and Daily Show staff writer will be venturing into uncharted territory on June 11 with Elusive, a 33-track mixtape that interweaves his live stand-up observational humor with musical compositions. Both elements wade in and out of political and social waters between the two “arcs” of the multi-genre epic, as Johnson covers everything from love and relationships, to the political makeup of the pandemic.
“I think it’s more creative and interesting to see what a song sounds like that’s about what the previous two comedy tracks are about,” he says. “What’s being relayed in that pain, musically, that isn’t in the stand-up?”
The album came together with the help of a few different minds, as Johnson recorded the stand-up portion of the album in the fall of 2020 with executive producer Samantha Murphy, while he also brought along composer and multimedia artist Mike Relm in an executive producer role. Lending their talents on the other side of the mic are Chicago vocalist Groovebox and Los Angeles-based melodic rap artist Frankie Tsunami, while choir director Roderick Frazier spearheaded recordings of a few iconic spirituals, in an effort to offer a deeper context to Johnson’s light-hearted yet powerful takes on the political aspects of the pandemic.
Check out the debut music track, “I Like You Too (Part One Of A Love Story),” as well as two comedy tracks, “Dating Profile” and “Bought an Axe”, below.