Long Beach-based trio, half•alive, divulge their musical firsts and release the 1st part of their new album, 'Give Me Your Shoulders'.

Formed in 2017, musical trio half•alive are back with a new album ‘Give Me Your Shoulders, Pt. 1’. The album features four previously released tracks, including the popular “What’s Wrong” that has picked up over 19 million streams worldwide. 


half•alive’s musical style is multi-faceted, having been previously described as indie pop, alternative rock, electronic rock and electropop. They incorporate elements of R&B, funk and soul while experimenting with a number of genres that result in the band’s sound. In previous interviews, singer Josh Taylor has discussed the aim of his songwriting to hit the “sweet spot” between “abstract” and “relatable” lyrics to allow listeners to interpret them in their own way. The new single “Move Me” demonstrates this songwriting skill. It was released alongside a music video that saw the group partner with a group of artists, directors, actors, animators, and creators, giving each of them the creative freedom to make a 30 second video to the track from their imagination. The trio selected a handful of videos and created the final visuals from there. 


About the new album, Taylor describes the “vulnerability” and “layers of intimacy” that were part of both the musical process and the final product. He continues: “Many of the songs are about the cry for love’s hand around my heart. In one breath it’s about a person & about God.  To ache for the comfort of another. To hide in the corner of their shoulder & know I am safe.”


In support of the new album, half•alive are embarking on a tour due to take them across North America as well as the UK and Europe starting February 24th in Texas. We caught them before they set off, as they divulge their musical firsts. 

First song you made?

J Tyler Johnson: The first song I ever made was in 5th grade after watching School of Rock. Very inspired by the man, the myth, the legend, Jack Black. I got a couple friends together after school and we made instrumental rock, metal. A true GarageBand story.

First song you released officially?

J Tyler Johnson: the first song I released officially was a series of progressive metal songs that were of the myspace era circa 2006?, under name the name “the drowning flute?” It was Mr Bungle meets System Of A Down, meets my youthful angst. Not very good, but it was the beginning of recording and producing, and for that im thankful.


First CD or record you owned?

J Tyler Johnson:  First CD I owned was in fact just the single from Linkin Park’s “In The End.” I had my friends mom burn me that song on a CD, so I could listen to it over and over again on my CD player as I took the bus to school. I still know most the words to that song to this date, a treasure.

First time you realised you wanted to be an artist?

Josh Taylor:  first time i realized i wanted to be an artist was when i saw MuteMath in 8th grade at a theater in Los Angeles.  it was my first concert, & if you know what their shows were like, you’ll know that it ruined concerts for me forever.   i went to my second concert expecting a full acrobatic, crowd surfing display and was rudely disappointed,  thus i decided that i needed to make my own band to put on a truly memorable show, and do my best to ruin all other shows for other 8th graders.

First gig and first festival you went to?

Josh Taylor: first festival i attended was Sloss Fest, in Alabama.  i was visiting a friend there and saw that Manchester Orchestra was playing so we decided to make a trip out of it.  Ended up also seeing Tyler the Creator, Purity Ring, Young the Giant, & a very early show in the career of Judah & the Lion.

First time you faced an obstacle in your career?

Josh Taylor: First obstacle in my career was booking any show, AT ALL.  if you just started a band and you don’t have a manager or booking agent, i pray for you. even in the early h•a days, we scoured the internet & emailed everyone we could possibly find just trying to book a show.  But as anyone who is in that position knows:  to quote Ms. Rodrigo, “it’s brutal out there”.

First instrument you owned?

Brett Kramer: first instrument I ever owned was a Yamaha acoustic guitar, but I couldn’t progress on it fast enough so I switched to drums instead.

First time you felt like giving up?

Brett Kramer: I felt like giving up music after college. i was pretty burned out from music and being so intense with it that I had to go through a process of reinvention to find my love for it again.

First time you felt starstruck?

Brett Kramer: my amazing wife

First time you ticked off a bucket list goal?

Kramer: Probably when we played the united center in Chicago opening up for tøp. in high school I used to always dream about playing drumlin a big arena.

Stream 'Give Me Your Shoulders, Pt. 1' below:

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