Win 1 of 3 copies of Luke Ritchie 'The Water's Edge' on CD

closing date: 15 Aug 2012

Win-1-of-3-copies-of-Luke-Ritchie-The-Waters-Edge-on-CD Printable version

Luke Ritchie
The Water's Edge (23rd July)

Debut Album Produced by Award Winning producer Paul Savage (Franz Ferdinand, Arab Strap, Mogwai)
String arrangement by Nico Muhly (Bjork, Anthony & The Johnsons, Grizzly Bear)

In 2010, Luke Ritchie set himself a challenge - to write a song a week for six months. Between January and July, he composed 26 songs, recorded them at home on acoustic guitar and posted them online as podcasts. By the time the experiment was over, through word of mouth alone, the songs had been downloaded 8500 times and Ritchie was ready to pick the best for an album he planned to put out himself.
Yet the route to the release of The Water's Edge, Ritchie's glorious debut, isn't quite so straightforward. Before they reached the studio, the songs had found fans in globally acclaimed arranger Nico Muhly (Bjork, Anthony & The Johnsons, Grizzly Bear) and award-winning producer Paul Savage (Franz Ferdinand, Arab Strap, Mogwai). The former composed and recorded string parts for five of the tracks. The latter produced the entire album over two snowy weeks in Scotland.

The results led to a deal signed late last year with Angel Falls Records, a label founded by Venezuelan entrepreneur Rodrigo Marquez and distributed by Proper Music, home to artists including Robyn Hitchcock, Dr John and Richard Thompson, whom Ritchie recalls on a couple of his folkier songs. Yet The Water's Edge is neither a regular folk record nor typical singer/songwriter fare. It's a rich, varied set of songs that are as feisty as they are folky, as rocky as they are pop. Recorded with Ritchie's core backing musicians, on double bass and drums, and Jazz Vocalist of the Year nominee Nia Lynn on harmonies, the album may have been made on acoustic instruments, but even its most reflective moments are packed with passion and purpose.

'I didn't want to make a soft, samey album,' says Ritchie. 'I'm not a soft singer. I grew up on Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden and grunge, as well as people like Paul Simon and Sam Cooke. I like dynamic singers and powerful songs - and you can get a lot of power from acoustic instruments.

'I contacted Paul because of the music he's made with King Creosote and Arab Strap. He's a drummer and he's brilliant at getting big drum sounds without veering in to power rock".

Already, The Water's Edge has done some serious travelling itself. At the end of last year, Ritchie decided to send his album out all over the world, to see how people would react. He recorded the songs on to 80 MP3 players and put them inside tobacco tins with instructions on a luggage label to listen and pass on, but also to photograph the 'music boxes' in interesting locations.

'I've sent out almost 50 so far, mostly with friends who are travelling abroad, and the response has been incredible,' says the singer. 'People have sent back pictures from Tibet, the Pyramids, from a beach in Australia, in front of the Chinese terracotta army and under a waterfall in Venezuela. I'm expecting some soon from Baghdad and Palestine. I put the photos on my website. Somehow, seeing the album in people's hands, in so many vastly different locations, makes it more tangible. These are songs I first played in my bedroom, unsure if anyone would hear them. Now look how far they've got.'

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