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The Beast in Its Tracks is Josh Ritter's first studio album in almost three years. The album may well be remembered as Ritter's divorce record, as it was written and recorded in the wake of his 18-month marriage suddenly dissolving. As Josh says, "In the year after my marriage ended, I realized that I had more new songs than I'd ever had at one time. Far from the grand, sweeping feel of the songs on So Runs the World Away, these new songs felt like rocks in the shoe, hard little nuggets of whatever they were, be it spite, remorse, or happiness."