Luke Ritchie - The Water's Edge
London-based chap Luke Ritchie certainly is no stranger to song-writing, having written twenty-six songs in the space of seven months. That averages out to about four songs a month. Pretty impressive, right? I definitely think so. Mixing his musical prowess with the talent of a few widely-renowned musicians and producers has resulted in something rather unique indeed. After recording songs from the comfort of his own home and sharing them online as podcasts, his album release is finally allowing his music to be truly liberated and shared with the world.
The Water's Edge holds some very slow, moving and haunting tracks such as The Lighthouse, which sets quite a deceptively moody tone for the rest of the album. Words also follows this trend; its piano and violin arrangements are simply stunning alongside his striking vocals, and the supplementary drums add to the captivating effect. Looking Glass is another one of these beautiful, spine-tingling productions, and is almost mournful yet uplifting at the same time.
The melodic and upbeat pieces featured on the album weave a folk element into Ritchie's music, creating a blissful equilibrium between goose-pimply songs and charmingly up-tempo tracks, and subsequently make his music very difficult to categorise. The soulful sound of Butterfly shows off Ritchie's wide vocal range, and this along with Shanty and Off Your Guard encapsulate his maturity as an artist as well as highlighting his distinctive qualities.
The studio elements such as additional bass and accompanying harmonies enhance Ritchie's smoother-than-velvet vocals, making the album a richly and beautifully crafted piece of music on the whole. Both the neck-prickling pieces and the catchy folk-pop numbers exemplify his passion and his inherent talent. This album certainly blends several genres together in a fresh and exhilarating way, and achieves a nice, polished sound but avoids sounding too over-produced.