Josh Ritter has been thinking a lot about space exploration. It has nothing to do with his
spellbinding new album, Spectral Lines, except that in a way, it really does.
"The Voyager spacecraft went up in '77 and now it's out there in a place that no one's ever
been before, and it's sending back all these messages," Ritter says. "I feel like songs do that in their
own little way. They're probes: they go out into the world, and sometimes you hear stories
back from them, but really, they go off on their own."
Ritter, too, is sending back messages, in the form of 10 new songs that are atmospheric and
impressionistic. Like the recently launched Webb Telescope, or Voyager all those years ago,
he's looking for signs of life, reaching for a sense of commonality, something that feels universal
in this infinite universe. Spectral Lines, his 11th album, finds those shared experiences in songs
that push beyond the bounds of Ritter's previous work. Recorded with longtime collaborator Sam
Kassirer producing, it's an album full of wonder and light as Ritter considers the ideas of love,
devotion and what it means to be connected, to each other and to ourselves.
"I think it's important for us to share some of our most basic and common experiences with
each other, however we can," he says. "That's kind of what we really, really need right now."