Thinking about it, I guess I’d consider myself to be somewhat late to the Ray LaMontagne party; I got Gossip in the Grain back when it came out, and while I love LaMontagne’s voice, his music is so emotionally draining to me that I can’t listen to it in perpetuity. And then I hear songs of his used elsewhere and I’m forced to go back and listen to them in all their defeated glory, and the cycle repeats. Most recently that song that’s been in my head is from his debut album Trouble – the utterly destroying “Jolene.”
The song is not, if you dismiss it on title alone, a cover of the Dolly Parton classic. It’s something completely different, although the protagonist is still kind of a bitch. If I ever meet a woman with the name Jolene, I’m running the other way, because the reputation associated with her name is forever written in song.