Joshua’s Opera Shares His Past Before Unleashing His Future

Joshua Claflin treats long-time fans to a retro gem ahead of his new album.


By Mike Romero

Joshua’s Opera is the nom de plume of Joshua Claflin. A Nashville-based musician and Utah native, he left his mark on the Mountain West through his prior projects The Young North and Box Trained Cats. Early 2022 led to greater opportunities when a Nashville record deal and other promises in Music City pulled Claflin away from home. 


Today, he dropped his song “Astronauts and Firefighters” – a decade after its initial offering. The mandolin-centric song carved a unique space in bluegrass, folk, and rock circles and highlights the unique influences that come to Utah’s mountain towns. “Astronauts and Firefighters” was the standout track from Box Trained Cats’ 5-song EP released in 2013. The group came to a quick end when Latter-day Saint missions and college educations began, granting this explosive track just a few short months of life. Claflin felt it deserved a second chance after receiving several requests for a re-release over the last decade.

Joshua Claflin performing as The Young North on The Couch Series in 2017.

“It’s bright, cheerful, and sounds very out-of-place with today’s sound,” Claflin says. “My own writing has changed so much from when this was created. But the juxtaposition of this song being released today makes me more fond of it. It takes me back to who I was as an 18-year-old. I wish I could go back and show that boy how beautiful our life has become.”

Claflin’s knack for driving rhythms, layered vocal melodies, and genre contorting compositions were present on The Young North’s 2017 release, “Passenger Seat.” They’ve expanded and evolved since then: in late 2021, the then-Eastern Idaho resident spent a week in Midway, UT recording and filming material for a new record. The upcoming, still untitled release aims to highlight songs and styles found in Midway, Idaho Falls, and Nashville.

Before he unleashes the future of his music, Claflin is content to revel in his past – taking pride in his young efforts before stepping into a new, exciting chapter.

Make sure to follow Joshua’s Opera on Instagram and check out “Astronauts and Firefighters” below.


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