Most of the people I work with sit in cubicles. Actually, most of the people at my company don’t work in our HQ – they work “in the field” at retail stores, etc. But one guy with an office near me listens to some great music. I never hear it on Monday mornings, but by Friday afternoon, it’s a mini concert in his office.
I don’t know if you knew this, but I’m kinda into music. So of course I share stuff with him and if I hear something I like coming from his open door, I’ll ask about it. Most of his music is stuff I’ve heard before, but there are some things I’ve never heard before.
One such artist is Ray LaMontagne.
I think he is, in his personal life, a kinda weird dude. I mean, there’s not much out there about him, so I’m just basing my opinion on the little that’s there.
But his music (that’s what we’re really here to talk about, right?) is great. It is everything I could want from a late ’60s-early ’70s psychedelic folk rock band.
Except Supernova was released earlier this year. Maybe I should have shared this a couple of weeks ago instead of The Cat Empire. He does the ’60s better than a lot of bands who were actually there (Ray wasn’t even born until ’73). It doesn’t exactly feel original, even though it is. I want to compare it to some artist I’ve heard on the oldies radio station, but I can’t. It’s just different enough. I don’t hear much good, new music that is actually new. I think that’s OK. Everything I like sounds like something that came before it. Sometimes way before it, like this album. It’s being true to your influences. Wolfmother and Fitz and the Tantrums are the same way for me.
The whole album has a dreamy feel to it; like a box of crayons left out on a cement patio on a summer afternoon. There’s plenty of swirling, echoing sounds, but it never gets cacophonous. His voice can be a bit gritty, which fits (or rather the music fits his voice) and keeps the album from being just creamy.
Actually the whole album could have been the soundtrack for the movie The Dish. Ever heard of it? It’s about the first moon landing in ’69. It’s good. And so’s the music.
Anyway, had Supernova been released 13 years earlier, it could have been used in the soundtrack. I digress. This isn’t a movie blog.
I know this isn’t much, but there’s just not that much to say about it. This sounds like something my parents would have listened to in high school, and it’s something they enjoy now that I’ve introduced them to it. And I can’t stop listening to it. At least it’s what I go to first when I open Spotify.
The only track I don’t really love is Airwaves. I like the whirling organ and the ukulele/acoustic guitar. I don’t so much like the weird breathy vocals on the chorus. And what’s he saying? “Jump the shark?”
I’ll tell you the only reason I haven’t purchased the record: I don’t want to pay for a digital copy as well. I want it on my computer so I can put it on my phone, etc., but I also want it on vinyl, too. Not just as a show piece or to say that I have it. When I clean my house I listen to vinyl. When I play board games or silly multiplayer, party video games with friends, we listen to vinyl.