The Scotsman Sessions #271: Jeshua

Welcome to the award-winning Scotsman Sessions. With performing arts activity curtailed, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on, with introductions from our critics. Here, Glasgow-based singer/songwriter Joshua Gray, aka Jeshua, performs Wandering, the closing track from his new album, Unreliable Narrator

Dundee-born, Glasgow-based singer/songwriter Joshua Gray, aka Jeshua, recently emerged from a decade of working night shifts and wrangling with a sleep disorder to deliver his suitably dream-like debut album Unreliable Narrator. So it’s not that surprising that he would choose to record his Scotsman Session in the wee small hours in a small shared studio space with a spooky setting.

“It’s an old business centre situated next to a graveyard,” says Gray. “It can get a bit weird at night, and would definitely be a great setting for a horror film or game. The dinosaur plush adds a certain je ne sais quoi…”

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For his Scotsman Session, Gray has chosen to perform Wandering, the closing track on Unreliable Narrator, which was inspired by the painting glimpsed in poster form behind him – The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog by the German romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich.

Gray is the classic introspective bedroom songwriter, wrapped up in his own escapist and distinctive lo-fi soundworld, but he remains philosophical about the emotional and creative ramifications of the past turbulent year.

“I’m pretty sure it got to most people in some way or another,” he says, “but it allowed a lot of people to reflect and reassess things. The introverted side of me definitely thrived from everything being cancelled (sorry) and it felt sort of normal for me because I was working in retail through the bulk of it. It definitely spurred something for me creatively though – I’m in the studio most of my time working on new music. It never stops!”

Unreliable Narrator is out now on Lilybank Records. Jeshua plays the Hug & Pint, Glasgow, 19 August, Stag & Dagger, Glasgow, 13 November and Beat Generator, Dundee, 27 November

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