Like the flowers that bloom in the spring, the breezes that carry the smell of honeysuckle, and the rains that cleanse the earth, William Prince’s songs refresh, restore, and rejuvenate. On his fourth album, Stand in the Joy, Prince’s soothing vocals warmly create inviting spaces for sharing emotions and for transcending the cares of daily life.
“When You Miss Someone” opens sparsely with gently strummed guitars and Prince’s understated vocals, but it quickly swirls with atmospheric layers of piano, lead guitar lines, and organ, evoking the yearning one feels when you “miss someone you love.” The gently eddying rhythms of “Only Thing We Need” course over the landscapes of time and memory, probing and meditating on just how unprepared we are for the swift passage of time in our lives.
The country crooner “Broken Heart of Mine” sonically resembles the canny heartbreak songs of early George Strait as Prince declares that he’ll deal with his broken heart the best way he knows how, with a guitar and a drink. The jaunty country dance hall number “Easier and Harder” rides on a wave of shimmering pedal steel, depositing the hard-earned wisdom that “The truth about love/It don’t come all at once/It gets easier and harder all the time.”
In the moody ballad “Tanqueray,” the singer speaks his heart to his lover, and Prince’s lyrics flow cannily enough that the lines “Tanqueray on your lips then mine” could refer to sweet and lingering kisses of lovers or to the last shared pulls on a bottle of gin. Gorgeously somber, the gospel-inflected “Peace of Mind”—which contains the lines that give the album its title—delivers a joyous declaration of independence from the push and pull of the world, proclaiming the deep peace beyond this world that brings joy.
Prince weaves his experiences growing up on the Peguis First Nation reservation in Manitoba, Canada, with the strains of folk, country, and gospel on Stand in the Joy. The close-to-the-heart melodies that wrap around his spacious storytelling swaddle and comfort the soul as it makes its way through the muddle of life to embrace love and joy and hope.
Stand in the Joy is available HERE.