Song of the Day #3,668: ‘Businessman’ – Josh Rouse

My second-favorite album of the year so far belongs to one of my favorite artists, Josh Rouse. His Love in the Modern Age is a synthesizer-drenched homage to 80s bands such as Blue Nile and Prefab Sprout, but it still feels very much like a Josh Rouse record — sad, soulful and melodic as hell.

Rouse is the rare artist who is beloved by every member of my immediate family. He’s a staple on our car trips. My wife likes to point out that every one of his albums has a distinct sound, often a distinct instrument, that sets it apart from all the others.

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Song of the Day #3,605: ‘Salton Sea’ – Josh Rouse

In this week’s Childish Gambino post, a commenter brought up the dilemma of having an under-appreciated favorite artist hit it big. You’re happy for his or her success, but you kind of liked being in on a secret.

I have two such favorite artists, both of whom I’ve adored for a decade and a half. And as much as I enjoy belonging to their exclusive fan bases, I have to say I’m ready for the world to give them the attention they deserve. One is Tift Merritt; the other is Josh Rouse.

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Song of the Day #3,376: ‘James’ – Josh Rouse

Nice work by the Random iTunes Fairy this weekend, serving up two of my favorite singer-songwriters with Ben Folds yesterday and Josh Rouse today.

‘James’ is a track from Rouse’s 2003 album 1972, one of his best efforts. Inspired by the sound and style of the decade it’s named after, 1972 is a sharp and satisfying listen and ‘James’ is one of its best songs.

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Song of the Day #3,219: ‘New Young’ – Josh Rouse vs. Peter Gabriel

I haven’t had a difficult choice to make through the first few matchups in Round One of Montauk Madness, and that won’t change today.

Peter Gabriel faces off against Josh Rouse. An art rock pioneer against a prolific but low-profile indie singer-songwriter. While I love Gabriel’s So — a bona fide classic — and enjoy tracks from his other solo records, he hasn’t consistently impressed me the way Rouse has.

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Song of the Day #2,925: ‘You Walked Through the Door’ – Josh Rouse

josh_rouse_embers_timeHere’s one of those very rare occasions where the Random iTunes Fairy serves up two songs by the same artist on the same weekend. I can’t remember the last time this happened.

The odds of a second Josh Rouse song popping up after the first one are about 1 in a 100, given the number of Rouse songs in my library (137) vs. the total number of songs (12,425). Not exactly like winning Lotto, but certainly a long shot.

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Song of the Day #2,924: ‘Little Know-It-All’ – Josh Rouse

rouse-homeRandom iTunes Weekends often serve as a reminder of how quickly time passes. Today’s selection is a perfect example.

I still think of Josh Rouse as a recent discovery, but I just realized that Nashville — the album that caught my attention as a new release — came out 11 years ago. Rouse’s debut, Dressed Up Like Nebraska, was released in 1998, nearly two decades ago, making him a grizzled veteran.

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Song of the Day #2,746: ‘Flight Attendant (Live)’ – Josh Rouse

joshrouse-cover-240Today’s Random iTunes Selection comes courtesy of a Josh Rouse live CD distributed for free by Noise Trade.

Noise Trade is a site that connects musicians with fans through the free distribution of music. The idea is that the audience an artist can reach through the site’s large network is worth a lot in potential future sales.

Josh Rouse can win new fans through the release of a live sampling of his earlier work, and existing fans (like me) get to download a nice little treat.

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