BY CHRISTIAN RODAS
Ray Lamontagne fans may have suffered a severe case of shock after listening to his latest album, Supernova, which released late April. I certainly know I was. In fact, ten seconds into the first song I didn’t know how to feel because it was so vastly different from every bit of Lamontagne that I was used to. I was so confused that I was forced to explore how much I really liked this new sound.
On one hand, it’s Ray and I love everything he does. However, as I progressed through the album, I experienced something that was so unusual yet so familiar at the same time.
Supernova is Ray’s fifth album and is by far the most unique, not only for the man whose music embodies a soulful folk, but any other artist who shares the same genre. Ray boldly went where no man has been before as he added several new elements to his music that I would call “spacey”.
Lamontagne fans are accustomed to a down-to-earth style of sound which mainly features Ray’s voice; a voice that embodies the huskiness of Joe Crocker with the angelic smoothness of Muses, the Greek goddess of music –the type of music that’s uncomplicated yet conveys a raw sense of human emotion.
These elements are still found in Supernova, but only to a lesser degree, and presented with a 60’s psychedelic tone. Lamontagne teamed up with Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach who took Ray’s talent and added an extra element. In a Rolling Stone article, LaMontagne says that “there was a playfulness to the songs…” that really came though in songs like “Drive in Movie” and “Supernova.”
So, fear not the change in the Lamontagne my friends, because I think it worked. It’s a new experience that will broaden your horizons if you allow it to. The addition of hollow tones along with echoey choruses gave the new album a unique, out-of-this-world feeling that you just might dig.