“If you were king for a day, what would you do? Power and control would be up to you.” A fellow patient said these words to Iowa-based singer-songwriter Joe Sorensen during a 2013 hospital stay for mental health, and they left a lasting impression that would eventually spill forth in song. The result, “King for a Day,” layers Joe’s anthemic vocals over powerful acoustic guitar rhythms as he replies, “If I were king for a day / I would take you away / From the hurt and the pain of this place / If I were a king / I would make you sing / And we would find our way back home.” First released on 2014’s Tension and then again on 2016’s Violets + Bones, “King for a Day” has become a staple at Joe’s shows and has been featured twice on the international stage show This is My Brave.
In the veins of Howie Day, Ed Sheeran, Ingrid Michaelson, and Augustana, Joe Sorensen has been steadily releasing pop-, rock-, folk-influenced albums since he was seventeen, when he released his self-produced, debut albums A November Life and Death and All Her Pretty Little Monsters just six months apart (2008). Using piano, acoustic guitar, vocals, looping, and heart, Joe tells stories in the form of songs to remind us that “We are all just people / Beauty, blood, and bones / We are all just people / Scared to die alone” (Color, 2018).
Joe recently released his tenth album, Blink and It’s Gone, which serves as a direct sequel to his 2015 concept album Kissing With Open Eyes, and his eleventh album, BRIGHTON, which is his first to feature full-band arrangements and work from another artist, Steven Stratton. In 2020 Joe released a two-disc, greatest hits album entitled 2020 Hindsight: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1, which included 30 tracks from his previous 12 years of music.