Josh Johnson shares new song, “Nerf Day”

The opening track of ‘Freedom Exercise.’

Los Angeles-based musician Josh Johnson has shared “Nerf Day,” the opening track of his upcoming album Freedom Exercise.

Johnson’s percussive new cut burgeons with syncopated rhythm and laid-back brass instrumentation. “Nerf Day” joins previous singles “856” and “Western Ave” as first tastes of the multi-instrumentalist’s debut solo LP.

“A lot of people I’ve connected with here have opened me up to a lot of things I hadn’t imagined,” the Chicago native shared in a statement of his adopted Californian home. “It brings in a lot of people who don’t go to jazz clubs. It’s a thing that’s been very stimulating for me because it doesn’t feel insular. It’s helped me be a better listener in improvised settings. Not just playing to play, but really thinking about why, and what something is for.”

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Listeners might know Johnson from his collaborations with Makaya McCraven, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Jeff Parker, as well as his role as the musical director for Leon Bridges since 2018.

Freedom Exercise will drop on October 9 via Northern Sky Records. Listen to “Nerf Day” below:

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