Josh Ritter Conquers the Beast

Album stream: Josh Ritter – The Beast in its Tracks

The last time Josh Ritter released an album, it blew us away. We called 2010’s So Runs the World Away “a beautiful collection of songs that showcased Ritter’s uncanny gift for marrying gorgeous compositions with heartbreaking narratives” and included it on our oh-so-prestigious Best Albums of the Year list.

Ritter released a six-track tour EP titled To the Yet Unknowing World in 2011, but the brief disc only left us even more eager for a new proper album. Now, the long-awaited follow-up to So Runs the World Away is finally upon us: the cheshire-grinned troubadour will drop The Beast in its Tracks on March 5. You can listen to an advance stream of the album above.

The Beast in its Tracks chronicles the painful dissolution of Ritter’s marriage. Written over the course of 18 months, the album served as a way to process the pain of the breakup.

“All heartbreak is awful – my broken heart wasn’t unique,” said Ritter. “But writing these songs was helping me get through the night and I didn’t have the strength to care or question.”

But those hoping for a replay of the epic grandeur of his last album may be in for a surprise.

“It felt like a different record from the start,” Ritter said. “Far from the grand, sweeping feel of the songs on So Runs the World Away, these new ones felt like rocks in the shoe, hard little nuggets of whatever they were, be it spite, remorse, or happiness.”

It may take a more introspective tone, but The Beast in its Tracks has no shortage of the poetic lyrics and gorgeous compositions that have become Ritter’s calling cards. The album is currently available for pre-order in a variety of different bundles, some of which have already sold out, so don’t waste any time in claiming your copy.

You can also pick up the album on March 18, when Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band play the Belly Up. Lake Street Dive will open and tickets for the show can be purchased here.

Or, if you’re feeling lucky, you can try your hand at winning a pair of tickets to the show via our very own giveaway. The contest winner will be chosen at random on March 15.

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