Music by artist Wiarton evolves to include social messages

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With much of his own world locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wiarton singer-songwriter Josh Ritchie turned to what was happening to others around him to inspire the music for his new album.

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Ritchie, 22, is releasing her second album Love at the End of the World on September 30 with a performance at Heartwood Concert Hall in Owen Sound that same night.

“It’s been written throughout COVID, so I wasn’t doing much myself to inspire my writing,” Ritchie said Wednesday. “I looked more at what was going on in the world and that’s what fueled my writing this time around.”

He said the new music is much more socially aware than his work has been in the past, largely inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and his work as a human rights activist with it. There are also songs about being a youngster in the world right now.

“There aren’t many songs about what it’s like to inherit a broken world as a young person these days and have to do better than previous generations and just the pressure to cope with that weight. on our shoulders, ”Ritchie said.

“I hope this is the kind of record that some like-minded person can listen to when things go wrong and things seem hopeless. It can kind of be a light at the end of the tunnel for anyone watching. the world and is not really happy with what he sees.

The new album follows Ritchie’s debut album Louder in 2019 and an eponymous EP released earlier this year.

All three songs from the EP, inspired by Black Lives Matter, are on the new album.

He said the message in the music was something new to him, but something he always knew he wanted to do.

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“One of my biggest influences is U2, so activism in music has always been kind of a goal for me,” said Ritchie. “The new album is a little different from the first album in terms of content, but sonically it’s kind of on par with what I’ve done before.”

Ritchie’s style of music can best be described as art-centric narrative rock. He said his new music could be more rock and roll than his previous work, with more guitar solos and big raspy sounds, but “nothing too much out of left field.”

Ritchie, who is Rob and Ande’s son and has a younger brother, Toby, said he was really happy with the album’s outcome and can’t wait for others to hear it. He is also eager to return to the stage for his first feature film since the start of the pandemic.

“It’s going to be really good after the long COVID drought and all, so I’m really looking forward to it,” said Ritchie, who has hosted outdoor festivals like Summerfolk and Paisley Blues Fest. “This is my first feature film and my first full set in a long time.”

Tickets for the 7 p.m. release concert on September 30 at Heartwood are available at heartwoodhall.ca. The album will be available for purchase or download on all streaming services. More information on the album and other shows is also available on social media @joshritchiemusic.

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