453. Ray Lamontagne – “Till the Sun Turns Black”

I am a sporadic purchaser and devourer of British ‘serious’ music mags such as Uncut and Mojo.

The former has a habit of gushingly embracing artists, and one of their pet acts a few years back was this guy.  As a result (and on the advice of a travelling buddy), I picked this album up for a pittance in a Vietnamese CD ‘store’ in early 2008.

I forgot I owned it til last week.  It’s had quite a few listens, and paint me impressed.

Ray has a soft, plaintive voice, and emotes like his life depends upon it. It’s all precious, elegant and engaging.  The orchestration (i.e. some strings and the like) makes this feel intimate and well-balanced. It brings to mind the work of the Buckley clan, and also Ryan Adams‘ less histrionic moments.

The closing, title track is an excellent showcase of his combination of restraint and power (by the way, this is a fan-vid – nicely done):

I can imagine a wonderful live event with Lamontagne playing back to back with Martha Wainwright.  I’d love to be lounging and swaying to that.

File under: No need for sun-block


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