Artist - Josh Ritter
Album - The Animal Years
Label - V2
Josh Ritter is an almost criminally-underexposed singer-songwriter, one who combines wonderful Dylan-Van Morrison melodic feel and reach, but whose accessibility would make him a shoo-in for James Blunt or Josh Rouse fans. His previous release, 2005's Hello Starling, was a lovely piece of work, with a couple of minor hit singles thrown in.
The Animal Years shines a little less sunshine on the songs, but the achingly gorgeous melodies are still there, and there's an additional vulnerability and pensive treat in the vocals and the wit and weariness of the lyrics. The Animal Years sounds at once familiar and freshly innovative, complimenting Ritter's warm and burnished voice perfectly. The relaxed feel almost underplays just how addictive the songs are - kept in the car for the daily commute, it would be easy to fall deeply in love with each and every song. Buy this before you buy any more Josh Rouse.
Adult Contemporary Essentials