the Buzz for August 28th, 2008


shake this sense of sadness

posted at 11:49 pm by brandon in mine's on the 45

My skin was positively tingling the minute I got the news that fresh music from Ray LaMontagne was imminent, but my anticipation for Gossip in the Grain, the artist’s forthcoming third album, just slid into warp drive, because Grain‘s resplendent leadoff single “You Are the Best Thing” went up at Ray LaMontagne - You Are the Best Thing - Single - You Are the Best Thing this week, and it’s a startling knockout.  However searing and wrenchingly brilliant the lion’s share of LaMontagne’s music may be (and trust me, it most definitely is), his discography isn’t exactly littered with what one would call happy tunes, and that’s precisely what makes “Best Thing” such a wicked revelation, as LaMontagne seems to funnel all his obvious inspirations — from two hundred year old Negro spirituals to ’30s jazz to the ghosts of Tapestry — into a horn-drenched sing-along which somehow sounds completely fresh.  With this unexpected leap over to the sunny side of the street, LaMontagne has hurled out an opening salvo clearly meant as a challenge to his peers, and a confident declaration that he is the musician to beat this crowded fall.  Believe it: the artist who has designs on beating this in the season to come had better have already gotten one hell of a head start, because New England’s most lovably eccentric hermit has just thrown down the gauntlet.