In the end, love is the answer. This philosophy may well be as timeless as love itself as an end-all answer to what has, is happening, and has happened. It’s no wonder that the meditative ponderance is at the center of a trilogy’s end, with singer-songwriter Joe Goodkin crafting his Record of Love EP in the footsteps of a Record of Loss and Record of Life. As deeply intimate and complex as the concept it’s centered around, Goodkin’s latest features the singer-songwriter at its center, and only him. Every last sound sans his wistful vocals were produced by his guitar through muted strum, delay pedals, and a barrage of other modern innovations.
With that said, ‘What Remains is Love’ is a fairly straightforward affair in the best way possible. Without any cool mechanic manipulations, Goodkin is left with the simplicity of which his straight-shooting, sweet vocals and his guitar were born with. What remains is an emotive, empathetic, and forward-looking tune bereft of anger or confusion. It invites clarity where grief once was and sometimes, even, still remains, offering a blisteringly human reflection that just about anyone can relate to. Directed by Nick Ferrario, its accompanying visual is just as poignant and to the point.
Goodkin tells For Folk’s Sake…
“‘What Remains is Love’ is the first song on Record of Love. It picks up where the Record of Loss EP ended, using the same chords as that album’s closer, ‘For the Loss’. It’s a meditation on how one starts to rebuild oneself after loss and what is gained by embracing the process of grief to its deepest ends. It begins with the question ‘what comes after the blues?’ a nod to one of the best songwriters of my generation, Jason Molina, and then proceeds to answer that question: ‘after the blues comes love.'”
“I wanted the recording to reflect the utter vulnerability one feels after a long period of grief and disclosure and so I recorded the song (at I.V. Lab Studios in Chicago) live in one take using an unplugged electric guitar and one microphone.”
“For the video I worked for the third time with director Nick Ferrario (who previously directed my videos for Record of Life’s Dog and Cat as well as Record of Loss’ Charlie and Roger). He conceived of an intimate, light-infused performance in front of family, friends, and fans, at Chicago’s venerable Schubas Tavern, and I think he captured the sentiment of the song perfectly.”
Words by: Jonathan Frahm (@jfrahm_)