Ray LaMontagne Sings “Supernova”

Listen to this track by gravelly-voiced roots rock paragon with a wandering stylistic ear Ray LaMontagne.  It’s “Supernova”, the title track and lead single to his newest record (his fifth), which as you may guess is called Supernova. The record was produced by the Black Keys’ guitarist and singer Dan Auerbach.

Ray LaMontagne SupernovaThis song is a reflection of LaMontagne’s love of mid-to-late ’60s guitar pop with a touch of lysergic, echoey production, woozy organ, and plinky-plonky saloon piano that suggests a lot of late nights listening to the Kinks in “See My Friends” mode, post-Pet Sounds Beach Boys, Fifth Dimension-era Byrds, and Odessey and Oracle Zombies.

Maybe this is unexpected from a guy known for his exploration of more country-soul-folk-rock oriented material. But it’s not like this song and the record off of which it comes isn’t connected to all of that even through all of the orange sunshine. It’s got a strong connection to the craft of songwriting well above the ins and outs of genre.

The acoustic guitar and impassioned vocal style with R&B undertones that he’s known for are still in place, too. It’s just that on this track, and on the rest of the album, the stylistic room he’s singing in has paisley wallpaper instead of the rustic wood paneling of his earlier work. No biggie, everyone. But, what’s the motivation? Read more