October 17, 2007

Artist Comparison: Carbon Leaf and Josh Ritter


Two artists that I'd like to compare today is Josh Ritter and Carbon Leaf. On the first listen, the two groups don't sound a whole lot like one another, but when looking a little deeper at the two, there's some bigger things that really makes them alike in some ways.

For a while, I've been thinking of ways to compare Carbon Leaf to another band. Carbon Leaf is one of my absolute favorite bands of all times, for a number of reasons - they have a diverse instrumentation, exceptionally strong strongwriting skills and a fantastic sound. Additionally, they have been shifting their sound over the past couple of albums that makes it difficult for them to really be comparible to other groups.

The War Was In Color - Carbon Leaf
The Temptation of Adam - Josh Ritter

I've been listening to Josh Ritter and his group ever since I saw them this summer with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. I wasn't blown away with them from the get go, but over the past two months, I've gained a real appreciation for the group. Like Carbon Leaf, they have a fantastic sound and superior songwriting capabilities.

On the whole, the two groups both have a bit of a different sound. Josh Ritter goes more towards a bit of a country and folk, while Carbon Leaf tends to be more lyrical. Neither Josh Ritter nor Barry Privit sound much alike - Ritter's voice is more raw while Privit's is a little deeper, more refined.

Good Man - Josh Ritter
What About Everything? - Carbon Leaf

Where the voices don't quite meet, the instrumentation does - again, it doesn't sound like each other, but they both maintain a high level of skill, both have interesting drum, guitar and bass work that sounds just a little different than other groups out there.

Both are two slightly different, yet similar sounding bands. They've got the same feel, to me, with great lyrics and a fantastic sound. The core of both artists in their songwriting is a story. Generally in all cases, each song is generally directed with some focus, often with a very atypical or interesting one. And, both are real favorites of mine.

This Is My Song - Carbon Leaf
Right Moves - Josh Ritter