The Boston Globe

Joshua Radin’s home is wherever he sets down his suitcase and guitar

- By Noah Schaffer Interview was edited and condensed for clarity. Noah Schaffer can be reached at noahschaff­

Singer-songwriter Joshua Radin’s career has been intertwine­d with Hollywood — and not just because, like something out of a movie, he wrote his first song at 30 and weeks later discovered that it would be used in an episode of “Scrubs.” Over the last two decades his dreamy songs about love and life have also been featured in multiple episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy,” dozens of other TV episodes, and several film soundtrack­s. He even sang at Ellen DeGeneres’s wedding.

But two years ago Radin sold his Los Angeles digs and adopted a nomadic lifestyle, paring his life down to a suitcase and a guitar. Today he hops from location to location, even when he’s not on the tour. He stays with friends or finds an Airbnb, and when he gets tired of a place he finds the nearest airport or train station and moves on. (He admits that having a manager who can get his mail helps.) His new life has inspired a pair of EPs, “though the world will tell me so,” volumes 1 and 2. Ahead of his shows Saturday and Sunday at City Winery, he spoke via a Zoom call from a Chicago tour stop.

Q. After spending so many years around Hollywood, what made you want to turn to this new lifestyle?

A. I had been feeling pretty over LA for a long time. Then I got locked in my house during the pandemic, which just reinforced that I wanted to leave and I couldn’t. I realized I don’t know where I want to live.

I still haven’t found a place yet that I think is perfect for me 12 months a year, so I’m still looking. But also I really wanted to have a life that was about experience­s more than things.

Q. Did you have a lot of things?

A. So much — years and years of stuff. So I pretty much gave it all away, and for the last two years I’ve been cruising around, living with a suitcase and a guitar, and I’ve had the best two years of my life.

Q. How long do you spend in a place and where have you been? Is it just dictated by your tour schedule?

A. No, I’m actually touring quite a bit less. I’m just traveling more and collecting experience­s and writing about it. “Though the world will tell me so” is like a travel diary. I wrote it in a ton of different places, recorded it in a ton of different places, you know, totally spontaneou­sly. I like Stockholm a lot. It’s already been a second home for me, but I don’t like spending the winter months there. It’s really dark and depressing. In January I was in Costa Rica for a month. I was in Mexico for a while. I’ll visit friends or just get an Airbnb until I’m bored with a place, and I tend to get bored very easily with anything.

‘I still haven’t found a place yet that I think is perfect for me 12 months a year, so I’m still looking. But also I really wanted to have a life that was about experience­s more than things.’ JOSHUA RADIN on leaving Los Angeles and most of his possession­s behind

Q. One song on the EP that seems to be inspired by this new life is called “This One’s For.”

A. Yeah, that’s a song I wrote about my friends and family, the closest people to me, and how one of the downsides of traveling so much and being what I like to call “homatic,” because my home is nomadic, is that I miss certain people in my lives that I don’t get to see very often. So, you know, it’s not all about the roses, but they understand that this is how I feel like I’m my best self.

Q. Are you using this tour to test out new material?

A. Oh, yes, and I’m excited to be going back to my roots and writing songs that are pretty much about falling in and out of love. And that’s one of the things I think that audiences embraced me originally for.

There was a period of time where I just thought, “Oh, how many little love songs can I write?” But I’m finding it interestin­g again.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States