Winter behind, spring now, summer ahead - the timing of The Beast in Its Tracks is perfect, consumed as it is with the withering of one relationship and the green shoots of another.

Acoustic guitar to the fore, Ritter switches between wounded old head and wide-eyed newcomer depending on the song, and in the process of closing off some things and opening himself to others he has delivered a fascinating, read-between-the-lines collection. If you're a fan, you'll like him even more at the end than you did at the beginning, while doubters may once again experience that on-a-loop lesson we all keep learning - the one about not knowing as much as we think we know.

"Heartbreak comes on worst when the sun goes down," writes Ritter in the liner notes. And this album really comes into its own 'round about the same time.

Harry Guerin