Joseph Tonelli's Debut Album "Dust and Snow": A Review of One Sincere Singer/Songwriter

By: Dawn Raymond

Joseph Tonelli's debut record presents more than just his soul.

If Joseph Tonelli's music were a season, I think it would be fall, with its aromatic romance and the slightly sad sense of endings. His music ponders the timeless topics of things like love and loss, and it finds a striking, restful acceptance of the two. Tonelli doesn't specifically write songs about heartbreak, but he does write about the deep-down heart of life, with it's beauty and it's pain. He likes all of his lyrics, and this just exemplifies the consistency of his soul: Joseph Tonelli presents himself in a simple and sincere way, with an honest transparency that sometimes borders on discomfort, but ultimately gives you a sense of his soul.

Boulder's Joseph Tonelli. 

Boulder's Joseph Tonelli. 

In creating his upcoming June 2016 release Dust and Snow, all 7 songs presented themselves to be a part of the album, which suggests that the music travels through him to it's destination. Tonelli recorded the album in his living room, sometimes even with his son sleeping close by, and every track is a sort of hand-crafted work of art.

Some of Joseph's songs have a sort of rustic and lonely feel; the kind of music you listen to in honest, quiet moments of contemplation, but each track is totally relatable for pondering, wandering souls. His lyrics sometimes communicate the thoughts that he can't convey in any other way, with personal themes and messages weaving their way throughout:

"I'll probably end up at some bar down the road,
can't tell if it’s heaven or hell sort of reminds me of both." (June 15, 2009)

"Sometimes I can catch a sight through these cracks in the night
of the man that I once knew that I could be,
he's covered in dust and soot and grime
a deadly sin, a heinous crime
but man i swear he's just one breath away" (Sometimes)

Joseph plans to continue writing, collaborating and performing live after the release of Dust and Snow, and it will be interesting to see what lyrics and melodies present themselves for public consumption for his future projects.

In the meantime, preorder Dust and Snow on vinyl, flashdrive, and CD right here. Stay tuned for upcoming show information by liking JT’s Facebook page, or checking out his website. Want to read more about Joseph Tonelli? Check out our exclusive interview with the Boulder artist here.


All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited.