I first reviewed Ramirez two years ago here, and my then discovery of a fine artist is confirmed [not by my discovery, let's be clear] by his latest which continues the excellence of this sweet singer-songwriter.
The namechecks continue in promotion, and I do acknowledge the Ryan Adams echo in a song like Wild Bones, but it must be clear by now that he is overall his own voice and writer. These are mainly introspective, intimate songs shared with an honesty that is affecting, as in the superb Harder to Lie:
The first impression
Is what I've always been best at
You never questioned
Me or my intentions
I could be your friend
The minute you shake my hand
When it comes to winning
These could be deadly
When it comes to loving me
You best be ready
'Cause this will get heavy
When you'll learn just what I am
I fed you fables and fooled you
With words from my tongue
Trying to make you think I was a better man than I was
But if you're asking me now
I'll tell you the truth
It's getting harder and harder to lie to you
How did you get here
You seek me out?
Were you an answered prayer
For me to shut my mouth?
So I would learn how
To open up my heart
'Cause I never stutter and I never thought twice
I never folded or shook, the moment always felt right
To do what I like and I live in the dark
There are country tinges throughout - pedal steel, for example - but it is Americana at its finest and a truly memorable album.