By Sophie Griffin

The Juniper Berries' New Album "Death and Texas" is out now!

Earth Libraries proudly presents Austin-based indie rock outfit, The Juniper Berries' new album "Death and Texas" - out now wherever you get your music!

Life is overfull of cliches when it comes to loss and pain. People are so desperate to offer some conclusive thought that they land in an endless and frustrating blur of platitudes. But the real irony is that the revelation doesn’t come from any of the cliches, but from the endless nature of the blur itself. The Juniper Berries’ Josh Stirm came to this realization in 2020, facing the tragic passing of both his brother and grandfather, as well as the looming pandemic. “The grief felt weirdly impersonal—more than losing family members, it gave me a broader understanding of what it means to love people and lose them,” the Austin-based multi-instrumentalist says.

Stirm turned his own sonder into the latest from The Juniper Berries, Death and Texas (out now via Earth Libraries), a set of character-driven tracks that explore loss as an affirmation of life.

“These songs center on people who used to be close to each other, relationships that have frayed to some extent,” Stirm says. “Sometimes people can be a friend or a family member, but there’s an asterisk next to it.” 

This raw emotion is indicative of the way these songs came to be—a blend of visceral storytelling and clever craftsmanship. Stirm likens it to the Ancient Greek and Norse concept of art flowing directly from a higher power, songs flowing out of him and then later piecing them together like a jigsaw puzzle to craft the record’s narrative. But when the picture that process revealed felt more personal than he had previously felt able to reach, he shelved the record, instead taking some time to work on others’ music. He took an internship at the legendary Sonic Ranch studio in Tornillo, Texas, training to be an engineer, and toured and contributed instrumentation to a variety of other projects in his new home of Austin. But Death and Texas wouldn’t be denied. “I was ready to give up on this record, but a few friends insisted I needed to come back to it,” Stirm says. “These songs, stories, and characters are like hand puppets, a way to be honest with even very personal, risky, and vulnerable emotions.”