Josiah Johnson Captures Our Head & Our Heart with Solo Debut “World’s Not Gonna End”

Josiah Johnson music © Ben Fee
Josiah Johnson of The Head and The Heart steps into the spotlight with his refreshing debut single “World’s Not Gonna End,” an uplifting, bright song with a resounding message of hope, perseverance, and the unbreakable human spirit.
Stream: “World’s Not Gonna End” – Josiah Johnson




How fitting that Josiah Johnson would make his musical comeback at the start of the new Roaring Twenties; how appropriate that his debut single would be a song about calming down and stepping back to see ourselves in the context of some bigger picture. How perfect that the former The Head and the Heart member would return on the eve of the 2020 Iowa caucuses, and in the midst of Brexit’s implementation, with a message of hope, perseverance, endurance, and steadfast belief.

World's Not Gonna End - Josiah Johnson

World’s Not Gonna End – Josiah Johnson

There was anger in my heart
But I come to you with my love
And open arms for myself
and for everyone
I had gotten it all wrong
I was buried in my own shit
Thought the order was too tall
To climb the life back out of it

World’s Not Gonna End” is a song we need now more than ever, whether we’re going through rehab like Josiah Johnson so recently did, sorting out one of a hundred daily life challenges, scrolling through Twitter, or simply feeling like Armageddon is looming upon us.

Released February 3, 2020, the single marks Josiah Johnson’s first official release as a solo artist and hails his signing to ANTI- Records – home to a litany of talented characters, from Andy Shauf and Glen Hansard to Japandroids, Neko Case, and Deafheaven.

Josiah Johnson 2020

Josiah Johnson 2020



“World’s Not Gonna End” also marks Johnson’s first substantial output since his unofficial, official split from The Head and The Heart – the band he formed with Jonathan Russell and friends back in 2009, and saw through to critical acclaim and commercial success. Having shared songwriting and vocal duties with Russell and co-vocalist Charity Rose Thielen for so many years, it comes as no surprise that Johnson’s solo work is highly reminiscent of his former band at their best.

Surrounding himself with the talents of Pete Lalish, Aynsley Powell, Dan Brantigan, David Lizmi, and Emily Hope Price, Johnson brings his music to life with refreshing effervescence and inspiring energy. He attacks his words with a newfound sense of self, adopting a kind of mindset that, at least on the outside, seems to require years of quiet, thoughtful reflection and self-imposed introspection to attain. Chugging guitars establish a quiet urgency, while Brantigan’s booming trumpet lights up the space with its warm, undeniably uplifting embodiment of joie de vivre.

“World’s Not Gonna End” rings out with that inspired, simple message – one that combines the mantras “life goes on” with “tomorrow is a new day” and “never give up.” It’s the upbeat cousin to The Rolling Stones’ classic “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” with Johnson offering solace in the chorus’ heartfelt reminder:

But the world’s not gonna end
If you do not get your way again, my friend
Josiah Johnson

Josiah Johnson



“I remember driving home after seeing a touring friend come through SF. I was missing the road life, missing playing music with my friends, missing the identity I had worked so hard to shape, and feeling this pit in my stomach, lke nothing is going to be like it was,” Johnson shared in a statement alongside his new song’s release. “I had some making peace to do, with who I was, with what I was working with, with trusting that life is long, and that I had no idea the adventures and the growth that still lay out there in front of me. And reminding myself I had no choice but to trust. I got home and this song came tumbling out. I love that feeling.”

the greatest ask for the modern woman like me
is to find what is within herself
that’s just allowed everywhere else
and to love what is within herself
and if you’re called upon to love
but you find you are too small
I know you’re more than capable
I know you’re more than capable
it hurts, but you can grow
large enough to allow it all

Now based in Portland, Oregon, Johnson has the uncanny ability to take hyper-specific life experiences and transform them into universally relatable songs rife with lessons learned and stories told. He did it for years with The Head and The Heart, and now he’s continuing to do it on his own, under his own banner.

With its timeless message and hopeful outlook, “World’s Not Gonna End” can be a song about whatever you want it to be.

It’s tenacious and spirited – fervent, but not feverish in its approach. It’s the calm in the chaos; the proverbial eye of the storm. It can be about workplace disputes or problems at school; family dynamics or national politics; relationship troubles or personal crossroads. Wherever you find yourself, Josiah Johnson’s got a message for you to hear.

Stream the artist’s debut solo song below, and please join us in welcoming Josiah Johnson back to the stage.

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:: stream/purchase “World’s Not Gonna End” here ::
Stream: “World’s Not Gonna End” – Josiah Johnson



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Josiah Johnson 2020

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📸 © Ben Fee

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:: Josiah Johnson Tour Dates ::

2/4 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
2/5 – Bellingham, WA – The Firefly Lounge
2/6 – Seattle, WA – Conor Byrne Pub
2/7 – Boise, ID – The Olympic Venue
2/8 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Urban Lounge
2/9 – Longmont, CO – The St. Vrain
2/11 – Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar
2/12 – Hollywood, CA – The Hotel Café
2/13 – San Francisco, CA – Springsteen Night 2
3/16 – 3/21 – Austin, TX – SXSW 2020
tix & more info @ josiahsjohnsons.com


Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com