RAY LAMONTAGNE: Centered by Solitude

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

“All he wants to do is make your vision come to life,” LaMontagne continues. “That’s what’s so awesome about Ethan. If he’s feeling something or hearing something that isn’t copasetic with you, it doesn’t go on. It’s like he just wants to facilitate what you’re hearing-what you want it to be. What ends up happening is it’s even better than you imagined because he brings so much to it.”

Dark, brooding lyrics sung in a raspy howl, “Empty” and “Lesson Learned” rival the lyrical intensity of the very best of Trouble, while “Coda” sounds like LaMontagne channeling the spirituality of Cat Stevens. Like the sleepy, baroque feel of an old music box, the album’s instrumental is a solo acoustic guitar piece he recorded on his Apple laptop while on the road.

“Saying that is just so funny, because just a few years ago I lived in a cabin without electricity or running water,” he says, pausing to consider the irony. “It’s just something that I was hearing and thought it was a nice little piece. It’s a fuller piece of music, but I only needed a minute or so to work on this record.

“I’ve been coming up with little pieces of music like that a lot recently. I’ve also started to play the piano a little bit. I’m trying to figure it out on my own and that’s been really great…just a lot of fun. I hope on the next record to have more of myself playing the piano. It’s very clunky, and almost like playing the drums or the guitar on the piano, but it’s great because it’s that childlike feeling. It reminds me what’s great about music and why I wanted to be a musician in the first place.”


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