rick redbeard Awake Unto (CD, £12.25)label: chemikal underground
‘Awake Unto’ is the second mesmerising collection of songs by Rick Redbeard, aka Rick Anthony of cosmic rock magicians The Phantom Band, coming three years after his delicately poetic solo debut ‘No Selfish Heart’. • Quarried from similar stone to that of Michael Hurley, Leonard Cohen and Bill Callahan and wrapped in layers redolent of Angelo Badalamenti, ‘Awake Unto’ weaves folk, balladry and filmic impulses into a tapestry of song so deftly detailed the rewards multiply with every listen. • Following in the wake of two Phantom Band albums - ‘Strange Friend’ (2014) and ‘Fears Trending’ (2015) and the music Anthony wrote for Theresa Moerman’s New Talent BAFTA-winning documentary ‘The Third Dad’, it’s hardly surprising ‘Awake Unto’ marks an assured shift in scope, colour and tone from its spartan forerunner. • Rick: “If ‘No Selfish Heart’ was a tasteful black and white pencil sketch, ‘Awake Unto’ gets the crayons out to colour it in.” He’s too modest by half of course, as even the most cursory listen will demonstrate. ‘Awake Unto’ takes the core elements of Rick’s debut - his towering, mahogany voice and melodic imagination - and cloaks them in fabrics and hues, elevating them to giddying new heights in the process.
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