In 2010, Luke Ritchie wrote a song a week for six months. After the six months were over, he then posted the tracks online, and through these podcasts and word of mouth alone, Ritchie’s songs were downloaded an astonishing 8500 times. From these twenty six songs, he chose eleven to feature on his polished debut album, The Water’s Edge.
Despite being an acoustic/folk artist, Ritchie states he “is not a soft singer” and is influenced by the likes of Led Zeppelin and Soundgarden as well as people like Paul Simon. He demonstrates this through showing how power can be drawn from acoustic instruments.
The stand out track of the album is the dark yet catchy, Shanty which has a driving rhythmic beat and strong bass-line throughout, which gives the track an upbeat quality guaranteed to have your feet tapping, despite its dark nature. Song to Sundays has a similar feel, yet fails to make the same impression. Other highlights include album opener, The Lighthouse features stunning harmonies from Nia Lynn. Their voices complement each other perfectly and are reminiscent of the partnership between Lisa Hannigan and Damien Rice or The Civil Wars.
Off Your Guard and Butterfly begin with a banjo-esque guitar line which really highlights the folk influence. This track is beautifully simple and really captivates and compels the listener due to the simplicity of the music and Ritchie’s voice and his delivery of the lyrics. Cover It Up displays the heavier side of Luke Ritchie’s musical writing. The track is an infectiously catchy pop influenced track with jazz elements. Words, featuring strings, a sweet piano accompaniment and a heartfelt delivery is another beautiful slower number which echoes the music of Aqualung.
All in all, an outstanding debut album.
The Waters Edge is released 23 July 2012.
Words > Rebecca O’Doherty