West Linn native Josh Nielsen has released his third album, "Kizik." The album features Nielsen on guitars, drums, keyboard and vocals and Max Edmonds on bass.
Both Nielsen and Edmonds grew up in West Linn and graduated from West Linn High School. Nielsen lives in Menomonie, Wisconsin, where he is a student at University of Wisconsin at Stout, studying rehabilitation counseling. Edmonds lives in Beaverton, where he works for a language interpretation company.
"Max and I grew up together and began jamming at age 12," Nielsen said. "I was born in Eugene. My family moved to West Linn in 1991." After graduation Nielsen attended Marylhurst University and graduated from Portland State University in 2010 with a degree in English literature.
"Lake Oswego played a big part in my creative life," he said. "I attending acting camp at Lakewood (Center for the Arts) and starred in 'Oliver' as Oliver there. Then I found music, and the rest is history."
A relationship breakup left Nielsen feeling depressed; he knew he needed a change and had heard that Eau Claire, Wisconsin, was a burgeoning music town. It was also just 27 miles from Menomonie, where he enrolled at University of Wisconsin at Stout to study rehabilitation counseling in fall 2018, with the intent of helping his mother, West Linn resident Michele Cook, with her business Medical Vocational Planning.
Edmonds helped drive Nielsen from Oregon to Wisconsin.
"Our friendship is stronger than ever," Nielsen said. Though the friends live half a continent apart they collaborate on music via Pro Tools digital audio software.
"I send him raw tracks (that are recorded in Wisconsin) and he adds the bass," Nielsen said.
In an article published in the March 20, 2019 edition of Volume One, Culture and Entertainment in the Chippewa Valley (Wisconsin), Nielsen said he channeled "many of the bad vibes and sad times" of his breakup into songs. The songs included on 'Kizik' are written in polished alt-rock genre, with lyrics written in "a state of insomnia and depression.""I am in a much happier state now," Nielsen said. "And a big part of that is that I am single."
To listen and purchase Kizik visit kizik.camp.com or reverbnation.com/kizik.
Nielsen and Edmonds are working on another album to be released in 2020.
"I typically release an album every five years," he said. "In January I'll be 36, maybe that's a good way to celebrate, by releasing a fourth album."
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