In a world of workaday singer-songwriters mired in vacuous self-regard, news of a new Ron Sexsmith record can only gladden the heart of those who care about deftly poetic, gently affecting songs that perfectly distil the pitfalls of being human. Especially when that record pairs him again with the producer who, for two decades, has framed his music in its most sympathetic surroundings. In the late summer of 2011, Sexsmith bumped into Mitchell Froom in Los Angeles and gave him a CD of demos he'd been working on over the previous few months. His 2011 album 'Long Player Late Bloomer' had been a liberating pop-rock breakthrough for Ron, but when Froom - producer of Ron's first three albums and of 2006's 'Time Being' - began talking of string and woodwind arrangements, the singer was instantly intrigued. "Mitchell's someone I've always looked up to,” Ron says. "They don't really make producers like him anymore." The songs Ron had written in the wake of 'Long Player' - returning him as they did to the bittersweet melancholia on which diehard fans have feasted since 1995 - seemed to cry out for a softer, more orchestrated treatment than the gleaming electric sheen of its predecessor. "With 'Long Player', I wanted to make something like 'Tapestry' - just sort of catchy from start to finish," Ron says, "but these were perfect songs to work on with Mitchell. It's probably the most personal album I've made, too, so it felt appropriate to do it with him." The two set to work in November 2011 at Froom's Santa Monica studio, temporarily dubbed "Froom and Board" by Sexsmith. Assisting on the sessions were engineer David Boucher and a clutch of seasoned West Coast players that included drummer Pete Thomas, bassist Bob Glaub and pedal steel prince Greg Leisz. Strings were overdubbed afterwards using L.A.'s feted Calder Quartet.