Josh Rouse is trying to convince himself that his 2006 relocation to Spain didn’t completely alienate his American fan base. It hasn’t, really. But he can’t deny that life overseas has done a number on him. A failed first marriage prompted Rouse’s move from Nashville to Spain, where a relationship with artist Paz Suay has led to a blissful family life in the country’s third largest city. Rouse returned to the U.S. briefly, living in Brooklyn with his wife and embarking an admittedly underwhelming tour behind 2007’s Country Mouse City House. Then Suay became pregnant with their first child, and access to the in-laws and the prospect of a more stable life lured them back to Spain. Rouse is now the father of two young boys, and his frequent This Is 40-style befuddlement laid the thematic groundwork for The Happiness Waltz (Yep Roc). His ninth proper solo album is an overdue return to the tastefully swinging and sophisticated folk/pop that elevated 1972 and Nashville, both recorded not long before his Spanish immersion. Rouse will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new feature on him.
Rouse: He is well known for the Sea And Cake, of course, but I have to say his first solo record is one of my all-time favorite albums. Great moods and hooks. It’s the perfect mix of pop with jazz elements you’re likely to find this side of early Van Morrison. Jim O’Rourke, who spent time playing with Sonic Youth and mixing a number of Wilco records, plays in his band from time to time. Sam comes from a very creative family; his father Martin is a photographer, his brother Hank is a furniture designer, while Zak is a painter. Sam’s a painter as well.