Albany-based folk-rock outfit Blue Ranger, led by frontman Josh Marre (guitarist for Pinegrove, Cassandra Jenkins, Onlyness and others), will release their sophomore album Saving a Beauty on Oct. 26 via Upstate N.Y.’s Five Kill Records. You can hear the record’s title track below, premiering exclusively at Paste this morning.
Saving a Beauty follows Blue Ranger’s debut album Actual Food, released on Bandcamp and cassette in 2016, and Marre explains in the band’s bio that he wants their latest to serve as an artful, yet accessible introduction: “I realize this will be the first thing people hear by the band Blue Ranger,” he says. “I want people to lean in and hear something relatable while flowing with the sound. A lot of times you hear about people getting ‘lost’ in albums. I kind of wanted people to go looking for something, and hopefully they would find it without getting lost on the way.”
The album’s title track offers a first taste of Marre and company’s attempts to strike this balance, inviting the listener in and showing them the way to someplace meaningful. If the song’s dovetailed acoustic guitars—bolstered by Marre’s twin brother Evan’s legato bass notes and Matt Griffin’s deliberate drumming, with sparing piano accents from Kenna Hynes—aren’t enough to draw you in from the get-go, Josh Marre’s vocals open on a sweetly reassuring scene, the flicker of a tenuous connection: “It’s been a cold one, shivering / you had a rough go, you ok / I asked you.” Blue Ranger combine touches both pastoral and personal to synthesize what their frontman calls “calculated ease”—the song is a collection of unmistakably human moments that feels both approachable and unknowable.
Josh Marre had this to say of how Saving a Beauty’s lead single came together:
I set out to write a tune about wading in the spur of the moment; getting caught up in the intricacies of anything. The more I’ve listened to it and performed it, the more it reads as movement. There’s a push and pull lyrically I wasn’t aware of at the time. In many ways for me, it’s a shy song. It’s just started to peek its head around the corner. With a lot of the tunes on the new album, we were just trying to capture the day, and what the song wanted from us without much worry of anything else. Calculated ease. That sort of thing. I’m never trying to wrangle songs, only give them a roof.
Blue Ranger wrote their new album on the road last summer and recorded it in their Upstate New York studio, with co-production from the Marre brothers. Josh Marre describes the process as “super collaborative,” adding that Saving a Beauty is “a big step up for us and a way more honest representation of where we’re going.”
Listen to “Saving a Beauty” below, and find the Saving a Beauty tracklist and album art (designed by Ashley Trommler) further down, along with Blue Ranger’s upcoming tour dates. You can preorder Saving a Beauty here.
Saving a Beauty Tracklist:
01. I’m the Clown
02. Missing Persons
03. Saving A Beauty
04. Ah My
07. Wax Lassie
09. Thanks For That
10. Don’t Mean A Thing
Saving a Beauty Album Art:
05 – Albany, N.Y. @ The Low Beat
12 – Albany, N.Y. @ Bee Side Fest
28 – Troy, N.Y. @ Superior Merch Co (Album Release Show)