Link to our Facebook
Link to our Instagram

Darling It Hurts

28 June 2012 | 6:16 pm | Steve Anderson

“They all did!” Ritter roars when asked how many of the songs already contained the magic word

More Josh Ritter More Josh Ritter

The impending Australian co-headline jaunt by American singer-songwriters Simone Felice and Josh Ritter makes sense on a lot of levels. They're both from the States, both are accomplished and universally-admired singer-songwriters, and both are now published authors – funnily enough, their respective debut novels (Ritter's Bright's Passage and Felice's Black Jesus) were both released last year and both concern a central character returning to society from a wartime conflict – yet the two artists are yet to make each other's acquaintance.

“Yeah, it's going to be awesome,” Ritter enthuses of the new partnership. “I haven't met Simone yet but I've heard great things about him, so I'm excited to see his show.”

Ritter returns to Australia armed with a swag of new music in his arsenal. His most recent album So Runs The World Away was released overseas more than two years ago, but it's now being issued locally with a bonus EP Bringing In The Darlings, a six-track collection of warm-hearted and mellow music. All of the new songs contain the word 'darling', but Ritter contends that this was completely unintentional.

“They all did!” Ritter roars when asked how many of the songs already contained the magic word. . I“Only in the recording process did that actually show up – it was funny. It was weird that that happened, I didn't realise that I used that word so much.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

So Runs The World Away is a really big record, with lots of stories and large instrumentation. It's just a big record. I usually feel that I get influenced for the next thing by the thing I've done before. A record leads to something else. It's not so much a progression – more in that action/reaction way – and I think when I was going in to record I had these songs that could have been easily lost; they hung together as a piece, but they were kind of the shy guys in the room, the wallflowers. They were polite and sweet, so I figured that they'd be really good together, and that's kinda how I ended up recording them – just with zero fanfare, spending a fun few days making a lullabies EP.”

And that's not all – we're also going to be treated to some completely new Ritter writing at the forthcoming shows.

“I just finished recording the new record, and I'm thrilled about it,” he tells. “The songs are short and sharp – I'm really excited about them. You'll definitely hear some of the new songs on this trip, I'm really excited just to go down there and playing on my own, so I'll be playing the new stuff to anybody who'll listen.

“I started out playing solo, so it's fine for me. Even when my songs get complicated, or the arrangements are complicated, I still write with the eye of, 'What would this sound like solo?' I think that's the way that you can most easily look a song in the eye. And you can't fake solo either. It's just you and the crowd, and that's an amazing place.”

Ritter believes that playing a song live also has a massive influence on the end product.

“Writing a song is a lot like you're building an animal in a laboratory,” he laughs. “When you're performing, that's when it kind of stumbles out onstage. You might think you're building a horse, but you won't know until it's onstage that it's actually a three-legged giraffe. Writing is fun and you can have some assumptions about what it's going to be like to play live, but you actually have no idea until it's out there what it's going to be.”