Joel closes life chapter with a Cocktail

Written by on 17 August 2020

Cocktail of Emotions – the final track from the Lucky Man EP – offers a stiff mix of feels, subtle funk and hard truths

While the world has been in lockdown, Joel William Harrison has been releasing one track every month from his latest EP, Lucky Man. Cocktail of Emotions – the fourth and final track from the EP – offers a stiff mix of feels with a twist of singer-songwriter pop funk. As with the first three tracks, Cocktail of Emotions explores new sonic space and instrumentation for Joel.

“I was going through a pretty challenging time in my life when a mate messaged me to check in and ask how I was going,” Joel explains. “I remember writing back, ‘Mate, it’s just a cocktail of emotions. Good and bad, all mixed up.’ And just like that, the song started spiralling around in my subconscious.

“People like to talk about emotions in life as if they’re binary or black and white but a lot of the time they’re not that simple. They’re complex and conflicting, just like a good cocktail can be.”

Often songs will follow a rhyming scheme or tell a story but Cocktail of Emotions offers a literal recipe.

“I had the name of the track sorted and decided to set myself the challenge of writing the entire song as though I was writing a drink recipe,” Joel says. “I like doing that sometimes while writing – set a challenge and hope it sparks creativity or a new perspective.”

The track was produced in Joel’s hometown, Wagga Wagga, in regional New South Wales, with his long-time mate and mentor producer, Dale Allison. It’s not the first time the pair has worked together – they joined forces for Joel’s debut album, Thinking Over, Over Thinking. Following that release, Joel worked with Golden Guitar and ARIA Award-winning producers in Australia and Grammy-winning producers in Nashville to create his follow-up EP, Pofoco.

“Combine, then ice it down
With your cold, cold heart
And shake, shake, shake, shake”

“I remember showing Dale this song in the studio for the first time and him saying, ‘Ouch’,” Joel says with a laugh.

“I’d be lying if I said writing this track wasn’t cathartic. But for good or bad, it’s a list of all the emotions I was feeling at the time and I think that’s how it is for most people.

“You rarely just feel one way wholeheartedly – there’s usually a mixed bag of positives and negatives.”

As well as the unusual recipe structure, Cocktail of Emotions has a subtle funk pop vibe with a splash of pop to round out the flavour. “It was fun to build this track with Dale,” Joel says. “It started as an acoustic and we slowly added those funkier elements, like the horns and harmonies. “What we ended up with was hardly any acoustic. That obviously wasn’t that plan. It was just what the song needed.”

Even with the final track from the Lucky Man EP now introduced to the world, Joel has no plans to slow down.
“I don’t know how to do anything other than constantly create,” he says.

“I really hope these new tracks resonate with people but to be truthful, writing them would have happened no matter what, regardless of whether anyone else was going to hear them or not.

“The last few months have been so crazy for everyone all over the world and it’s been a really interesting time to be a musician and especially to release music.

“But I’d prefer to have these songs out there for people to listen to and hopefully enjoy while enduring the challenges of living through a global pandemic, instead of waiting for normality to return – if it ever does.”

For Joel, Cocktail of Emotions marks the end of his EP but it also signifies the end of a chapter in his life and certainly closing the door on the pain that inspired it.

“This final track closes the chapter of my life that all these songs lived within,” he explains. “Music and creating has never been a choice for me. “It’s what I’ve always done, will continue to do and work to get better at for the rest of my life.
“The songs have been stuck in my head and Dale’s for months and hopefully it’s now time for them to get stuck in other people’s heads.”

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