Luke Ritchie has probably shown the most innovative way of promoting his new album, The Water’s Edge. Where other artists gain millions of followers from the likes of YouTube or incessant advertising, Ritchie shows a much more secluded approach which perfectly complements his style of music. Eighty MP3 players hidden in tobacco boxes, each with The Water’s Edge downloaded onto them, have been distributed around the world from being passed from traveller to traveller. Ritchie has requested that people take photos of the transoceanic adventures that the boxes enjoy and that they are uploaded to his website so that people can follow their whereabouts. I think that this is a brilliant way of spreading his music because the debut has a very personal feel that is reflected through the listener’s discovery of The Water’s Edge, almost creating an intimate bond between the two. Ritchie says: “Somehow, seeing the album in people’s hands, in so many vastly different locations, makes it more tangible”.
It is very hard to place The Water’s Edge into a genre, there is so much variation of styles throughout every song but Ritchie manages to make them blend into the album consummately. Ritchie also uses the debut to subtly portray his political and personal opinions: “Lyrically, some of The Water’s Edge deals with ideas of identity, British-ness and an island in decline”. This is shown in the second track of the album, Shanty: “Think I’d love you more if you were strong and wrong than if you were weak and right,” a clear metaphor for his attitude to Britain and how he feels the country is losing its singularity. In my opinion, Shanty has a stronger rock element to it than the rest of the album, which I would probably label folk if you made me settle on one genre. Off Your Guard has a beautiful acoustic guitar melody that calms the tone of The Water’s Edge, it is very similar to Northern Lights found later on the album. Cover It Up is much more pop-ish, becoming almost hip-hop- this may be why Ritchie chose it to be the single, available now on iTunes. To feel the full liveliness of the piano riffs, I recommend whacking up the volume on your music player to as high as you can make it go!
The album will be released 23rd July by Angel Falls. To track the progress of the music boxes, you can visit Luke Ritchie’s Facebook page or alternatively on his website.