Josh Ritter's 'The Beast In Its Tracks' Due March 5; Preview "Joy To You Baby"

From the Press release: The Beast In Its Tracks, the sixth full-length recording from renowned singer-songwriter Josh Ritter, will be released March 5 on Pytheas Recordings. Of the record, Ritter says, “In the year after my marriage ended, I realized that I had more new songs than I’d ever had at one time. Far from the grand, sweeping feel of the songs on So Runs the World Away, these new songs felt like rocks in the shoe, hard little nuggets of whatever they were, be it spite, remorse, or happiness.

Lead single "Joy To You Baby" will be released digitally on December 18. Ritter performed an acoutic version of the song in the studios of WYEP.

Josh Ritter - "Joy To You Baby" (Live on WYEP)

Recorded during 2011-2012 at the Great North Sound Society in Parsonsfield, Maine, The Beast In Its Tracks continues Ritter’s longtime collaboration with producer and keyboard player Sam Kassirer. As Josh describes, “I hadn’t composed this stuff, I’d scrawled it down, just trying to keep ahead of the heartbreak. They needed to be recorded like that. We needed to work fast, make decisions quickly, keep the songs as spare as they could be kept, and above all never allow ourselves to blunt the sharp edges. Some of the songs were mean or evil. So be it.”

According to Ritter, this upcoming record will be more auto-biographical than his recent albums; “I’ve always believed that it’s important to steer away from auto-biography in music. I like the idea that you can work on something outside yourself. The outside world is always so much more entertaining and requires more imagination to describe in some way. But in the last little while, I’ve started working on music that is a little bit more auto-biographical and have taken some of the experiences that I’ve had and working on them in a way that I feel, I hope would be more relevant than to me.”

The new album follows Ritter’s 2010 release, So Runs The World Away, of which Bob Boilen from NPR Music declared, “I’ve come to expect good records from him...but this one took my breath away,” while the Boston Globe praised, “quite sensational…marks the finest music he has made.”

In 2011, Ritter made is debut as a published author with his New York Times Best-selling novel, Bright’s Passage (Dial Press/Random House). Of the work, Stephen King writes in The New York Times Book Review, “Shines with a compressed lyricism that recalls Ray Bradbury in his prime . . . This is the work of a gifted novelist.”