Raymond Richards - Sand Paintings | RECORD STORE DAY

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Raymond Richards - Sand Paintings
Sand Paintings
Artist: Raymond Richards
Format: Vinyl


Label: Esp Institute
Rel. Date: 05/24/2024
UPC: 197190883169

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There was a long time I considered Raymond Richards the ultimate secret weapon. There were sounds he could make that other people just couldn't. Pure, whole, yet complex sounds. The pedal steel is an extremely niche instrument outside of it's Country confines, but it's sheer and transcendent depth has never failed to floor me. Raymond's ear for implementing the steel into literally 'anything' has always been uncanny. After decades of being savvy to his work ethic, multi-faceted studio skills and overall sense of musical honesty, it became a priority for me to channel some of this into narratives through the ESP Institute and get his stories told. Without further recounting the history and trajectory of our musical relationship (see the press release for 2020's critically-acclaimed album 'The Lost Art Of Wandering'), I can whole-heartedly confirm this sophomore release, 'Sand Paintings', opens an even wider door into Raymond's visceral, contemplative world. The cast of players has elaborated to include Calexico's John Convertino on drums and percussion, a bevy of eccentric stringed instruments and even a hint of brass to collectively stratify context for the pedal steel. Through diversifying the timbral palette, we invite an increased soundstage acuity but also reveal untapped wells of emotion for the listener, perhaps even testing cultural literacies. One foot remains in our established ambient realm, while the other steps toward grand cinematic gestures, and despite the dense, insurmountable emotion in these songs, there is a stoic singularity, like a lonesome cowboy pulling up his boot straps to endure another day. 'Badwater Basin' opens with courage, an enormous chord evoking Raymond's image of 'hard dawn', but in navigating through the dramatic depictions of 'Monument Valley', 'Saguaro' and 'Deer On Hwy 80', we grapple with a cloaked vulnerability-weathered by the elements, beaten down and alone, yet still madly in love with the world. -LovefingersTracklisting:A1. Badwater Basin A2. Rattlesnake Pass A3. Monument Valley A4. 2 Cent Mambo A5. Saguaro B1. Zion Lodge B2. Farrington Dome B3. Deer On Hwy 80 B4. Mescal Shakes B5. Sonora