Recorded at home and self-released after three previous albums earned critical praise but little public attention, White Ladder was chosen by Dave Matthews to be the U.S. debut of his ATO record label. The album became a breakthrough for Gray and catapulted the English singer-songwriter into public consciousness, with its warm, aching folk songs and electronic shadings underpinning the romantic wanderlust of tunes such as "This Year's Love" or the stunning "Nightblindness." Gray has been accurately compared to Van Morrison, with whom he shares a vocal timbre as well as improvisatory and spiritual dimensions. The joy in Gray's music is found most clearly in how he tersely cuts one note and expands another, reveling in the drama created by holding and releasing breath. White Ladder is a searching collection of soulful tunes perfect for late-night listening.