By Leanne Sherman
Music is governed by trends – from krautrock to chillwave. But if one canon of sound has been constantly en vogue it’s the whole one man and his guitar, singer-songwriter thing. After all, this is the most traditional of all genres; all we need do is replace the instrument with another to fit innumerable eras and places.
There’s a problem though. If there are only six stories according to Greek drama then mankind has scarcely more original songs to take inspiration from. Several millennia on and our ears have heard it all plenty of times before, meaning it’s easy to feel apathetic towards the scene as a whole. Thankfully though, there are some exceptions.
So what constitutes a unique voice? In the case of Luke Ritchie, who’s quickly becoming something of a live phenomenon, it’s about the distinctly raucous ethic that’s inherent in his arrangements. OK, so that goes far beyond mere lyricism alone, but his vocals form a huge part of what makes his music as a whole so special.
The Water’s Edge, his album that arrives this month, exemplifies this natural talent. The songs therein are raw, both in terms of heartfelt honesty and roots-rock guitar work, whilst the collection overall represents display of writing prowess rarely matched. 26 songs, penned one per week for six months, is an impressive achievement, not least when one of them sounds like this. Enjoy.