Canyon City Releases “Purple Horizon” + Announces New EP ‘Circling The Sun’ Out Dec 4

July 24, 2020 BY Nettwerk

“Contemplative and utterly minimalist, Johnson’s music puts his heart directly in the spotlight.” – American Songwriter

“Paul Johnson’s warm, bright folk-pop songs feel like letters from a friend.” – NPR Music

“Canyon City weaves a perfect balance of ‘indie folk’ fabric through haunting melodies and sweet, delicate harmonies that delight the ears and quiver the soul.” – Atwood Magazine

Modern folk artist and producer Paul Johnson, better known as Canyon City, announces that his new EP, Circling The Sun, will be released December 4th via Nettwerk. Today, he shares expansive EP opener “Purple Horizon,” which is also the track from which the EP gets its title.


Johnson explains, “’Purple Horizon’ is a series of life questions, trying to make sense of the challenging journey of being human. It’s the song that the EP gets its title from, with the line, “fast and slow we’re circling the sun…” The theme is to try to find the essence of why we’re here doing the things we’re doing, chasing the carrots we’re chasing, discerning truth from distortion. It’s a lot of questions without answers, but the hope is to find company in these uncertainties and to journey ahead on the belief that it’s a worthwhile pursuit.”

Over the last five years, Canyon City’s self-released EPs and LPs frequented Spotify editorial playlists and won praise from media like NPR, Paste, American Songwriter and more.  His combined streams on Spotify alone surpass 100 million, with an average of 1.3 million monthly listeners. It’s easy to see exactly why Johnson is a streaming giant. His songwriting—fusing conversational narratives with modern-folk textures in the vein of Gregory Alan Isakov, The Tallest Man on Earth, and Noah Gundersen—is rich in emotional detail.

Now, Canyon City prepares to release Circling The Sun, a warm, inviting and sweetly cinematic EP primarily written and produced in household settings, save for a bit of recording at the local Library. He teamed back up with Nashville-based producer Zachary David who added his own homespun elements to the project. David, who is also a TV/film composer, used found objects (think couch kickdrums, t-shirt slapping snares and crumpled paper percussion) around the home when producing the EP, partially out of necessity due to Covid19. But the unorthodox arrangements only enhance the EP’s lived-in aesthetic.

Though Johnson may appear more settled than he ever has been—happily married, nurturing a burgeoning music career and newly relocated to Colorado—in many ways his endings only birth new beginnings and new questions about where all of this is even going. “What else is this life thing about?” Johnson muses. “How do I be a better version of myself? The EP is about feeling a little overwhelmed looking out at this.”

Stay tuned for more news from Canyon City.