Josh Ritchie shares new single, “Love at the End of the World”

Josh Ritchie Is Looking for “Love at the End of the World”

Josh Ritchie, the insightful, curious, inquisitive, and mega-talented rock star from rural Ontario, has released his soulful title track, “Love at the End of the World,” LIVE from Old Bank Studios.

“I’m really excited to have a live version of this song out in the world,” Ritchie says of the soul-wrenching think-piece rife with heart-stopping wonderment, stripped down and beautifully performed. “The magic of it really is in the live performance of it. The band and I, we just get lost in the build and the drama of it. I can’t wait to share it with people.”

The sophomore release from Ritchie couldn’t have been better timed; the world is searching for an artist who lays it bare on the lyric sheet, and Ritchie’s no-nonsense approach to communicating the realness of today’s societal climate is a welcomed breath of fresh air.

“It really is a simple song but there’s so much room to let it take you to new places,” Ritchie muses. “The best thing about a live version of any song really is when you jam out on it – extend it out a little longer with pure improvisation. That’s when a song becomes a moment, a completely unique and independent passage of history and if you’re lucky enough to witness it, it’ll stay with you forever. That’s what we tried to do with this video, capture one of those moments.”

Ritchie’s quaint and elegant approach to songwriting is humbling. He’s an old soul with wisdom far beyond his youthful years — as heard across the song’s titular album, Love at the End of the World.

A born performer with a song on his heart, Ritchie’s electric guitar sees through the message he’s purported to write, and his words are the thoughts we’re each thinking but too abashed to share. The balance between Ritchie’s introspective view on the world, knitted among the fiber of what needs to be said, is his magic: charisma, plus the ability to see a need and have the courage to remark on it.

“There is a lot at stake in this song,” he says of the good, old-fashioned power ballad about feeling exhausted by the harshness of the modern world. “We wanted to present it in a way that expressed those stakes and the rawness of the emotion.”

Ritchie’s music video for the song is an experience he feels lucky to have been a part of.

“I was so lucky to be able to work with the amazing team at CTRE Productions. They are not only great at what they do but they’ve become dear friends to me and the band. When you really get along with the people you work with, the project is always a success, and I’m so grateful to have been able to collaborate.

“It was an interesting process making this video,” he continues. “We really wanted to capture a live experience, so there was literally no scripting or planning ahead of a take. We’d play the song live off the floor and the film team would shoot and make the edits in real-time as we played.”

Watch the video for “Love at the End of the World” below and learn more about Josh Ritchie via our mini-interview.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hey! I’m Josh Ritchie. I’m a singer-songwriter, guitarist, activist, and producer from Toronto, currently living on the Bruce Peninsula.

I’ve been surrounded by music my whole life. I was lucky enough to grow up with two parents who have worked in the music industry, so a lot of my childhood consisted of listening to classic records with my Mom and following my Dad’s folk group Tanglefoot around on tour. It was only natural that I took music more and more seriously as I got older.

Despite my immersive upbringing in the folk music world, the classic rock bands and acts captured my imagination. Groups like U2, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, and Pink Floyd are the ones who shaped my voice as an artist. It wasn’t just the epic arrangements and larger-than-life personas that caught my creative eye, but how these artists were able to inspire change in the world. They opened my eyes to the uniting power of music and the influence it can have on society. It’s something I’ve striven to incorporate into my work ever since. I try to make the world a better place, one song at a time.

What’s the best part of living in rural Ontario?

The best part of living in a rural area as an artist is the freedom I have to create. Any writer, artist, or musician will know how important it is for the process to have time and space to just sit and be and listen to what’s going on around you. That’s where the ideas come from. When it comes time to write and record, living in an area that’s a little slower-paced and a little simpler lets the creative part of my brain run rampant. It’s a blessing to have that time and space to be, create, and try stuff.

Besides love, what else could you find at the end of the world, if it exists?

To be honest, there are a lot of times when it feels like there is no love in this world. It can be alienating to pay attention to current events these days. I think as artists; we are inherently romantics as well. I know I am, at least. That’s really where this song came from. Living in a world of division, greed, and inequality is hard for a romantic. It might sound a bit pessimistic, but it was really hard for me to break out of that mindset over the past couple of years. That’s really what birthed this song. It’s a plea for us to value love, empathy, and understanding again. I hope that when people listen to this — either on this new live video, on the record, or at a live show — they feel that and hopefully take it with them into their respective relationships and communities.

Who was the first guitarist to knock you sideways?

It was actually Terry Young, the lead guitar player of Tanglefoot, my Dad’s former band. I’ve known him since I was born, and he was the first guitar player I was obsessed with. When I was as young as five, he was nice enough to me, a naive little kid, to let me be his “guitar tech” when I went to their concerts with my Dad. He’s one of the most colossal players I’ve heard today. He can make a single guitar be a whole band all by himself. I’m lucky enough now to call him one of my closest friends and most devout fans and mentors.

What’s the one album by a Canadian artist that everyone should have in their collection?

I’d have to say it’s Daniel Lanois’ Acadie. He was first on my radar through his work on the U2 albums “Unforgettable Fire” and “The Joshua Tree.” You can always tell when you’re listening to his work. He’s a master of creating space in a mix, making his work extremely transcendental yet easy to relate to. He was probably my favourite producer of all time, even before I got into his solo stuff. This album, Acadie just feels like home to me. The traditional folk influence reminds me of the music I grew up around, and track two, “The Maker,” has one of my favourite grooves of all time. It’s just a Canadian classic that, in my opinion, no record collection is complete without.

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