Joshua James was raised Mormon and married under the auspices of its church. So when he recently decided to leave the religion, it obviously shook up his household. As the singer-songwriter detailed in a recent NPR interview, his latest album, My Spirit Sister, is a deeply personal document about his decision to abandon Mormonism, and how he kept his family together as his faith wavered. “I’ve got a baby comin’ April / God, I don’t know what I should do,” he laments on “Millie,” perhaps the record’s most harrowing track. “What would it do if I just fake it / Pretend that everybody is feelin’ fine?” Those aching lyrics beautifully complement his ghostly, windswept folk, which is both chilling and as delicate as a glass ornament.
— Nathan Weinbender