Peter Broderick now lives in Ireland, which goes some way to explain the folky lilt to these ten songs. They do not, however, follow any traditional structures and the album was actually recorded with David Allred in Oregon.
The piano is usually Broderick's instrument of choice but these new tunes are all built around his vocals and Allred's violin and double bass. Two tracks - Two Otters and Four Aspens are instrumentals and are like modern day chamber pieces.
The minimal, stripped back sound is a perfect accompaniment to Broderick's gentle, unassertive vocals.
"If we open our ears, may we minimize our fears" is a key line on the album's key track - The Ways, from which the album title comes. Here we hear only his voice in a plea for more kindness, optimism and patience in our "curious, mysterious" world.
Hey Stranger is another notable song. This was written for an old friend who disappeared 5 years ago and who Broderick describes as "one of the most perplexing individuals I've ever known". He was, however, also someone whose challenging personality made a lasting impression.
Despite the quiet,reflective and melodic quality of this album, the underlying message is an urgent one i.e. what the world needs now is more tolerance and compassion.