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Garth Thomas

Oct 26, 2023

Brooke Josephson's "Good Kinda Tired"

Brooke Josephson’s “Good Kinda Tired” takes its inspiration for the song title from a remark made once by famed songwriter Harry Chapin. The phrase has a vastly different resonance for Josephson, obviously than it did for her now-deceased peer, but Chapin’s initial inspiration brings her to the dance, so to speak, and that’s ultimately all that matters. Josephson’s song, instead, is a chronicle of yearning – for transformation, self-empowerment, and a sense of significance. It’s a near-ideal message and style for the prodigiously talented Josephson and the accompanying arrangement aids her in delivering the goods.

Her video for the song is a masterwork in miniature. Directed by Michelle Bossy, the promotional clip for “Good Kinda Tired” depicts Josephson as a 1960s housewife at the end of her day and discontent with her seeming fate in life. She watches herself on television as a female rock performer from the era and it inspires her to cast all cares aside and give herself over to the moment. Devon Bartel’s work wardrobing the video’s principals as well as Jed Olmedo’s hair and makeup provides viewers with authentic period touches alongside Rose Krol’s production design for the footage.

The contrast between the video’s cool visual appeal and the brimming characteristics of the song is notable. Josephson’s design for the arrangement has “Good Kinda Tired” percolating through the track’s verses before paying off with a striding chorus. It’s a controlled explosion, however; Josephson never allows the song’s exuberance to sound too unbridled. Her ability to strike the right note both in the video and song assists in making “Good Kinda Tired” an even more complete entertainment experience.

She doesn’t share the song’s byline with anyone. It’s a Brooke Josephson composition through and through and informed by personal experiences without ever sounding obscure. The song harkens back for Josephson to a time in her life before fame when she lived in New York City juggling multiple jobs between auditions and assorted gigs. Life was a constant tightrope walk and she decided, for a time, to abandon that direction in favor of a steady and well-paying single job that afforded her hitherto unknown financial comforts. It demanded more of her time and creative energies, however, leaving nothing for herself in the end.

“Good Kinda Tired” wrestles with the emptiness that comes when you work to realize someone else’s ambitions rather than your own. You can hear in the song’s insistent pulse, its exhortative chorus, and the arrangement’s tightly coiled energy that Josephson has internalized lessons learned from her experiences.

Her ability to transform those lessons into compelling musical art marks her as unique. It’s one of many qualities that do so. She radiates easy, unforced charisma in each line of “Good Kinda Tired” without ever shortcutting listeners or cheating to arrive at such effects. Brooke Josephson’s ongoing consolidation of her gifts elevates each new release from this singer/songwriter and “Good Kinda Tired” makes it clear that her development is far from finished. There are even greater victories to come and, considering the excellence of “Good Kinda Tired”, that’s fantastic news. 

Garth Thomas

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