Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Supernova - Ray LaMontagne

Song: Supernova
Artist: Ray LaMontagne
Album: Supernova

I've known about singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne for years but for whatever reason, never took the time to get to know his work.  I've really become obsessed with Lana Del Rey's new song, and the 60s psychedelic vibe she's switched to.  So when I read that LaMontagne's new album Supernova was also produced by The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and was a bit of departure in sound for him, I was intrigued.

LaMontagne's sound over his first four albums has been grounded in an Otis Redding meets Stephen Stills soulful folk feel, and with Supernova he shifts slightly to yes, a little 60s psychedelia, which you feel from the start.  Given Auerbach has fully produced both records, is Supernova an indication of what Ultraviolence will sound like?  Like a female flip of it?  While she may have helped me get here... I'm not thinking about Lana all that much because Supernova is simply amazing in it's own right.  What has taken me so long to give this guy a shot?!?!

I grew up on 60s psychedelia thanks to my Dad, and I can't help but be transported back a bit when listening to Supernova.  The album has it's folky moments, but also has that rollicking, tripped out sound on songs like "Julia" and the title track.  The Summer of Love vibe is felt straight off the top with album lead "Lavender" and it's whispered "chick-ahs!" that remind me of some classic track that I can't place.  Grrr... what is it? (Edit: it came to me on the way to work, it's "Time of the Season" by The Zombies.  Man... that's get's a big "duh!")

Supernova, despite it's pointed look back doesn't sound dated... it sounds classic.  LaMontagne has written some great songs for this record... I feel like I'm only just starting to understand how good it is.  I'm sharing this with everyone.  I'm highlighting the title track because it's upbeat, catchy, and sounds like yes, a long-lost classic.  But listen to this whole record.



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