New Lover

Album: The Beast In Its Tracks (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • Josh Ritter wrote The Beast in Its Tracks in the wake of his divorce from American singer-songwriter Dawn Landes. This heartbreaking cut finds him singing about finding a new woman while simultaneously wondering if his ex wife has also moved on with a new man. "The writing of 'New Lover' just happened," Ritter told Spinner. "As it sometimes occurs (though rarely), I got lucky and the tangled ball of emotions unrolled itself almost effortlessly into a song. As ever, I wanted to make sure that the personal never precluded the ability of someone else to relate to the song, but thankfully, the song's personality needed no altering. I'm super proud of it, but I almost feel as if I can't take credit for it."
  • Ritter told MSN that this was "one of the very first songs that I wrote for the record." He added: "It felt like I was coming out of this whole thing. It was really early days. I thought that I was totally moving on. You hope for something, but then you also want to take it back. There can never be total forgiveness in that way."
  • MSN asked Ritter if there are any songs he is unable to sing following his divorce from Dawn Landes? He replied: "You sing songs, or you have favourite songs your whole life. Then something happens to you that closely relates or mimics the experience of the song. You realize it's just been a loaded gun the whole time. For me like 'Alexandra Leaving' or 'Famous Blue Raincoat', two great Leonard Cohen songs, I never realized how desolating songs those were until I had an experience that made those things seem like he was so close to the bone. They were also painful to listen to. There are those songs. Then there are details of a relationship, which I could never sing because they are too painful. They're pedestrian and silly. Some of them are great memories. Some of them are bad. They all have a sting to them now."

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