Thursday Music Round-up – Matthew Ryan, Josh Ritter, New Atlantic & The Kooks

After almost a week off from the blogosphere, there are a few songs that I haven’t told you about… so we’ll just jump right in…

Matthew Ryan – American Dirt & Gone For Good

Matthew Ryan
Matthew Ryan… don’t call it a comeback!

Matthew Ryan has – for the most part – flown under the mainstream radar, even though he’s been releasing albums for more than a decade now. In fact, a quote on his Myspace page even reads, “Don’t call it a comeback; I’ve been here for years“. And the lack of mainstream exposure is absolutely shocking, as Matthew Ryan’s output over the years has been nothing less than consistently brilliant. I suspect, however, that 2008 will be the year that he finally hits the big time.
There’s just something about Matthew Ryan’s voice; it has the very real ability to reach right into your soul and tug on it until it wakes up.

I’ve included two songs here: the first, “American Dirt“, is off his latest album, “Matthew Ryan Vs. Silver State“, and is a ball of seething rage and purpose. The song smothers you in it’s intent, which is more steely than anything I’ve heard from Matthew Ryan before. Matthew Ryan Vs. Silver State came out on April 1, and I seriously suggest you check it out. Ryan is on top form with it.
The next song, “Gone For Good“, is off his 2007 release, “A Late Night High Rise“, and is a slow, delicate number that displays Ryan’s versatility. There’s a Bon Iver kind of vulnerability in his breathy, pleading lyrics here, that absolutely breaks me every time I hear it. A must-listen.

Listen: Matthew Ryan – American Dirt
Listen: Matthew Ryan – Gone For Good

Josh Ritter – Thin Blue Flame

Josh Ritter
Josh Ritter… one of the best songsmiths of our time.

Stepping back in time a bit here, to Josh Ritter‘s 2006 release, “The Animal Years“, and it’s standout track, “Thin Blue Flame“. A 10-minute track of epic proportions, it’s like something out of Revelations… really, it’s a 10 minute opportunity to re-examine your life, and the way we live.

I wondered what it was I’d been looking for above.. Heaven’s so big there ain’t no need to look up. So I stopped looking for royal cities in the air — only a full house gonna have a prayer.

Only a full house.
– Josh Ritter, “Thin Blue Flame”

Josh Ritter — to me at least — is still one of the best songsmiths in contemporary music. Point blank. And Thin Blue Flame is no exception. It’s a direct plea to his listener… and one that I can’t turn away from.

Listen: Josh Ritter – Thin Blue Flame

New Atlantic – Apologise

New Atlantic
New Atlantic (photo credit: sgphotog.com)

One of my guilty pleasures last year was One Republic’s tune, “Apologise”. As cheesy and formulaic as it was, there was something about the song that I just dug. So this is included here, really, as just another guilty pleasure. New Atlantic can produce some interesting stuff, but their cover of “Apologise” is a nice, cheesy, formulaic cover. Heh. But it’s cool for a spin.

Listen: New Atlantic – Apologise (One Republic cover)

The Kooks – Tick of Time

The Kooks
The Kooks have just released their second album, “Konk”.

The Pete Townshend-beloved Kooks are back, and I’m really digging where they are going with their second album, “Konk“, which came out last week. This song, “Tick of Time” is a ridiculously catchy closer to the album, and shows them in their best light… a band, just having fun.
I’ll admit it, I was sceptical that The Kooks would be able to deliver — again — on their hype. But this song clinches it for me. Well played lads, well played.

Listen: The Kooks – Tick of Time

Ps. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for an inaugeral “Live Music Friday” post… starting off with some Damnwells tunes!

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