He’s been plugging away at the Americana singer-songwriter thing for some time has our Josh. From his sublime debut record ‘Dressed Up Like Nebraska’ through to recent UK popularity (admittedly off the back of Ryan Adams and Jesse Malin cultdom) he’s been something of a stalwart of the new wave of songwriting craftsmen.
This single, torn from forthcoming album ‘Nashville’ covers no new ground to speak of, though it’s gentle, washing melodies and warm instrumentation are instantly endearing, and it’s Go-Betweens-lite production is really quite wonderful. Lyrically it’s charting Lucero territory, plenty of wintry imagery and aching frustration, yet without the guileless yearning of his fellow Nashvillian.Strikingly similar to the solo work of Aztec Camera frontman Roddy Frame, it shares the same kind of innate melancholy and ear for subtlety that has seen Frame himself fail to achieve any kind of popularity. Atmosphere and subdued sadness are not what ‘the kids’ want, unfortunately, but if you’re looking for something outside of the fashionista world, you could do a lot worse than Mr Rouse.
Mind you, you’re still better off with a Lucero or Roddy Frame record…