Album Review: Joshua James & Nate Pyfer Discover Responsibility Through Fatherhood

This is a record about learning to grow and celebrating the changes in our lives.


By Jeremy Thacker

While I write this, my wife and I are about two months away from welcoming our second daughter. As we prepare for a new child in our lives I find myself reflecting on my time with my oldest, conversing with other dads, and trying to figure out more and more ways to balance my responsibilities with my growing family. This is a struggle that I think every parent will relate to, and one that inspired Joshua James & Nate Pyfer Discover Responsibility Through Fatherhood.


Joshua James and Nate Pyfer have had success working together in the past, though fans may be more familiar with their individual work. Joshua is a folk musician who has reached fairly high levels of success – his album The Sun is Always Brighter reached no. 1 on the iTunes folk albums list when it was released, and he has continued to release some of the best folk music I’ve ever heard. Nate Pyfer has extensive experience both as a performer and a producer, and has worked with local legends like Kaskade, The Moth & The Flame, Sego, Fictionist, and his own band, Pinguin Mofex. The two musicians joined together again to co-write this album and describe some of the ways their lives had changed after entering fatherhood.

Joshua James (left) and Nate Pyfer (right).

With such experienced musicians, it almost goes without saying that the production on this album is outstanding. The instruments blend in such a way that they all have a chance to take the spotlight without being overpowering. Joshua’s vocals shine in every track as well, with a warm rasp that has a way of pulling you into the story behind every song.

One thing that really sets this album apart is how well it encapsulates family life. There’s a lot here for both parents and children. The opening track, “Count the Ways,” is one of my favorite depictions of the sacrifice and rewards that come with being a parent. “128 Times” hits close to home as I help my two-year-old daughter learn more about the world around her, and especially as I struggle to get her in bed every night. And speaking of my two-year-old, she absolutely adores “I’m an Animal,” where the album pivots to sillier songs for the kids themselves. 


This doesn’t mean that you have to be a parent or have a family to enjoy this album, however. During the penultimate track, “Miracle of Life,” Joshua remarks that “It’s a miracle to be alive, to be sharing in the gift of life.” I think that phrase describes the overall sentiment of the album very well. This is a record about learning to grow, celebrating the changes in our lives, and sharing the things that we learn and accomplish with the people that we love regardless of familial relation.

If you’re going through any life changes, know somebody else who is, or just like folk music, then I’d highly encourage you to check out Joshua James & Nate Pyfer Discover Responsibility Through Fatherhood. Between the heartfelt lyrics and excellent production, there is something here for everyone. Make sure to follow Joshua James and Nate Pyfer on Instagram. You can listen to “Count the Ways” below!


One reply on “Album Review: Joshua James & Nate Pyfer Discover Responsibility Through Fatherhood”

[…] The rock sounds Haslam created with those bands eventually came together to form his solo album, Kill Me Slower, which has been described as “an indie-rock soliloquy for the common man.” His album, about grief, technology, addiction, and desire was released two days after the government declared COVID-19 a global pandemic – very fitting for the themes of this album. He released the album with help from producer Nate Pyfer. […]


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