Some new music I’m enjoying… three artists at the top of their game, in my opinion:
You’ve probably never heard of Josh Ritter, but he is one of the best songwriters alive, and his new album (The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter) is one of the best collection of songs on one CD I’ve heard in a long, long time. I love this album. In fact, without going through a comprehensive catalog of the albums I’ve heard in the last year, I might say this is the best album of the year. It really is that good.
Iron & Wine‘s new album also reflects a songwriter at the top of his game. Sam Beam (who basically is Iron & Wine) pulls out some percussion and effects and sitar here and there to complement his acoustic guitar and understated vocal delivery to produce a very good album. Paste Magazine recently called Sam Beam the next great American songwriter (along the lines of Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, etc), which is quite the compliment, really. I’d also put Josh Ritter in that category.
Finally, I mentioned earlier that Radiohead’s new album was coming out – I downloaded it from their website (the only way to get it at this point) for "whatever I want to pay" (not kidding).
A slim 10 songs is all it is, but the songs are pretty incredible. While it isn’t the revelation that Kid A was, it is a document of a band still creating music that is haunting and beautiful. Good listening ’tis.