One of the directors was a guy named Ian Moss who I still keep in touch with. It was my first experience of the real benefit of being attached to a label: Free CDs.
Ian was an enthusiastic and generous guide.
One album that he pointed me towards was Josh Rouse's 1998 debut, 'Dressed Up Like Nebraska'.
I played it to death.
The follow ups 'Home' (2000) and 'Under Cold Blue Stars' (2002) were stellar and preferred by the critics but, as seems to be becoming ever more apparent to me, it was the entry point album that remained the most potent.
A cello weaves its way evocatively through much of the melancholy, there's an openness to the shimmering chords and shuffling drums that provides the perfect backdrop to Rouse's fetching tales of dislocation.
Rouse has gone on to produce many fine albums; although since moving to Spain he's cheered up a bit too much for the good of his music. He needs to get out of the sun and back into the shadows that helped inform this album's gloomy, dappled dilemmas; 'Dressed Up Like Nebraska' is magnificently miserable...
PS: Currently listening to 'Home' and realise that it's a better album; I'll post a couple of tracks at the bottom of the page after the two from 'Nebraska'.
I'm still sticking with my first love though...