As I think I’ve established with my previous posts at this point, Joshua Hyslop is an artist whose work I enjoy immensely. One of his songs that has grown on me significantly over time (and that isn’t to say I didn’t love it in the first place) is “The Flood,” which has worked its way into the realm of my favorite songs by him.
“The Flood” is a lighthearted-sounding song, an atmosphere created through the plucking of a banjo and the light timbre of acoustic guitar and piano organ, plus Hyslop’s soft vocals. Its lyrical content, however, is about becoming overwhelmed by a metaphorical flood, with a fear of drowning and a loss of stability. It’s a song of struggling through loneliness and trying to find your way in spite of repeated struggles, and the lyrics convey these difficulties with amazing emotion.
The lines of the song that always strike me hardest are in the second chorus, when Hyslop proclaims, “Though I’ve no one else to blame / still, I cursed your name.” It acknowledges that there’s nothing to do, no one at fault anymore but yourself, but in your loss and frustration you direct blame elsewhere, even if you recognize yourself that it doesn’t belong there. To end up there shows so much desperation and hopelessness that the lines speak volumes.
It wraps up with a hopeful message, however; as Hyslop reaches “the end,” as he says, he pushes forward through all of this and with the help of another, he’s “coming home again.”
Despite its mellow, light tone, “The Flood” is packed with all sorts of emotion and wonderful instrumentals; Hyslop’s talent shines through incredibly brightly here, and it’s a listening experience that I highly recommend.