'Subtitulo' will be released on March 21.
Josh Rouse was close to giving up his professional music dreams when his first album came out eight years ago. A Nebraska native, Rouse had settled in Nashville after travelling extensively. A couple of years later, he had a record label deal and an acclaimed debut album, Dressed Up Like Nebraska. Two years after that, he was able to give up his day job as a hotel valet parking attendant.
Rouse didn't know the language when he moved to Spain, but has learned to speak it in the last year and a half. "When you get older, you gotta keep your brain moving," he laughs.
Since then, Rouse and his spare and easy-sounding guitar songs have been quietly but surely cropping up on TV and in movies (Vanilla Sky). He toured with artists including David Gray and Aimee Mann, releasing more albums along the way.
It can be hard to find a photo of Rouse where he does not look slightly pained. His music, like his demeanor, suggest a solitary and contemplative mood. Still, Rouse finds room for lighter atmosphere: On 2003's 1972, he pays homage to the smooth, groovy rock of his birth year.
Rouse also finds room for new influences. In 2004, he bade farewell to his Tennessee home both literally and figuratively, with the melancholy Nashville. His latest album, Subtitulo, was written from the vantage point of his new home base, a small town on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Now, he's setting his sights on writing Spanish-language songs.
Rouse talks about his music and his latest residence with Scott Simon. He embarks on a series of North American tour dates in April.