Joshua Cockerill, a.k.a. Animal Parts, is one of my best musical discoveries in a long time. He pens standout, roots-tinged pop songs with intriguing and somewhat downright bizarre lyrics.

Six Arms to Hold You is his second EP released this year, which ties closely to its predecessor, Other Rooms, as both albums are exclusive vinyl/digital releases. In a more stable music market, these albums could have probably been a single release — and a damn fine one at that.

Cockerill spends a great deal of the six tracks on Six Arms talking about love, but he does so with a great sense of gratitude and maturity that most songwriters his age haven’t yet developed. There is a sense of joy, satisfaction and fascination in this collection of songs that feels like a breath of fresh air in comparison to the sad, sappy folk singer cliché.

Lyrically, Cockerill is at another level. These are thinking man-pop songs with the sonic hooks needed to interest a larger audience.

The best of the bunch on Six Arms is “Where the Heart Is,” which is a driven, toe-tapper that works as a fine introduction to Animal Parts and a great driving tune. Expect big things from this Toronto-based, Calgary-bred songwriter.

By Tanner Holthe

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