The Animal Years (2006, V2 Records) from Josh Ritter was a literate and eminently listenable folk-Americana gem full of sweeping lyrical panoramas and good, intelligent songwriting. Lucky for all of us, Ritter just released the Girl in The War EP (iTunes only) — a collection of b-sides and demo versions of songs from the making of that album.
The tracklisting of the EP is:
1) Girl in the War (album version)
2) Blame it On the Tetons (Modest Mouse cover)
3) Harbortown (b-side from the Animal Years sessions)
4) Peter Killed the Dragon (b-side from the Animal Years sessions)
5) Monster Ballads (early version from Animal Years sessions)
6) In the Dark (acoustic demo version)
7) Girl in the War (acoustic demo version)
Quite worth the $6.93, all the songs feel fresh and rambling in that way that Ritter has with a tune. The acoustic version of “In The Dark” is especially lovely, as well as this song:
“Harbortown” (b-side) – Josh Ritter
You Irish folks also get a similar goodie bag on the Ireland iTunes-only release of the Good Man EP. Since I can’t buy it here, any of you lads or lasses wanna share?
Oh, and Ritter kicks off a big ole U.S. tour towards the end of this month. I hear his live show is a thing to behold, so check him out if you get a chance.