Listening to the music of Ray LaMontagne is an act of self-care. His newest album, Part of the Light, is an all-new indulgence with which to spoil yourself. It’s like stretching across your bed in a beam of Sunday-morning sunlight and petting your cat until she falls asleep. It’s like letting your friends go out on a Friday night while you sit in the bathtub and paint your nails. His whisper-soft voice doesn’t crack through anything; his music is meant for relaxing, basking and feeling.
Part of the Light’s opener, “To The Sea,” is an especially unique moment for listeners. At first, the sound is reminiscent of early Johnny Cash albums. But as the melody picks up and the lyrical adventure takes off, it conjures up thoughts of Simon & Garfunkel’s “America” — quirky and fun.
During an appearance on NPR’s World Café, LaMontagne said the heart-stirring track “Such A Simple Thing” was never supposed to make it on the new album; instead it was something he’d planned to send to his publisher to give to another artist. LaMontagne’s wife coaxed a change of heart and it not only ended up being on Part of the Light, but it was also the album’s first single.
LaMontagne is now on a second run of shows in support of Part of the Light. The string of acoustic appearances will once again feature Wilco’s John Stirratt on bass. Together, the two create an evening perfect for simple indulgence and musical escapism.
7:30 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 17). $39.50-$75. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, tafttheatre.org.