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Miranda Lee Richards — Existential Beast

Miranda Lee Richards — Existential Beast (June 16, 2017)

  Miranda Lee Richards — Existential Beast (June 16, 2017)Miranda Lee Richards — Existential Beast (June 16, 2017)♣   Singer/songwriter and 21st century heir to the Laurel Canyon sound who’s also an active collaborator on the L.A. music scene.
♣   Editorial Reviews: Hot on the heels of Echoes Of The Dreamtime, Miranda returns with her fourth full~length studio album, Existential Beast, eight songs of ‘Psychedelic Chamber Folk Rock’ finding the diamonds in the dust of everyday life and the relationships within. Miranda is an American singer~songwriter from San Francisco. Kirk Hammett of Metallica taught Richards a few songs on guitar and then she went on to work with Suzanne Vega, Tricky, and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Miranda was a member of the Brian Jonestown Massacre and she sang the hit Anemone on their debut album. Her first album The Herethereafter was released by Virgin Records in 2001 and Light Of X followed in 2008 on Nettwerk Records. Her most recent, in 2016, has raised Miranda’s profile with her receiving fantastic press and rave review live performances.Fotka uživatele Ben Tais Amundssen.
Location: San Francisco ~ Los Angeles, CA
Styles: Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Singer~Songwriter, Neo~Psychedelia
Album release: June 16, 2017
Record Label: Invisible Hands
Duration:     48:11
01 Ashes and Seeds     3:16  
02 The Wildwood     3:56  
03 Lucid I Would Dream     3:50  
04 Golden Gate     6:08  
05 Back to the Source     2:18  
06 Autumn Sun     2:37  
07 Existential Beast     5:48  
08 Oh Raven     3:08  
09 On the Outside of Heaven     5:18  
10 Another World     11:52
AllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson;  Score: ****
♣   Miranda Lee Richards’ fourth album, Existential Beast, follows 2016’s Echoes of the Dreamtime by just a year, a quick turnaround for a songwriter who’s gone several years between records in the past. It comes with a lusher presentation, too, edging deeper into psychedelic folk~rock while hanging onto a country influence and her distinctly Laurel Canyon~esque sound. It’s also, at least in part, a protest album, with songs motivated by the 2016 U.S. presidential election, an inherited necessity for activism (“Ashes and Seeds”), and the killing of Cecil the Lion (“The Wildwood”). The title track, which she has said was originally inspired by watching a biopic about Nelson Mandela, gets at the larger question of how to arrive at peace. A slow~drifting rumination, it has organ, gently twangy guitar, piano, and spare drums under Richards’ wispy vocal line. It picks up fuzzier guitar and, later, saxophone in the choruses but never climbs out of hazy contemplation (“And why must there be a wrong before right?/And why must it take so many lives?”). Songs like the ultra~trippy “Golden Gate” and bucolic “Oh Raven” are more concerned with self~improvement, such as learning to trust instincts. The closer, “Another World,” though, returns to protest in an epic way; it’s a 12~minute acoustic folk song that pays tribute to her home state of California while addressing a myriad of American political issues with all of the peace~loving presence of a Judy Collins or Joan Baez.
♣   Existential Beast proves to be a fitting title for an album that is very much of its time while sometimes eerily evoking the music and, sadly, topics of a half~century prior.
♣   http://www.allmusic.com/Fotka uživatele Ben Tais Amundssen.Description:
♣   EXISTENTIAL BEAST is a political album, examining the issues of our time, but with the intent of tackling these tough and often taboo subjects in a poetic and heartfelt manner. The title is also a mash~up of terms, referencing the existential crisis that has in turn arisen.MIRANDA says of EXISTENTIAL BEAST, “In essence, we are all still working within those animal urges of fear, competition, survival and sexuality which are deep~seeded and manifesting in varying ways and degrees for different individuals, depending on where they are at. But like it or not, these tendencies have been revealed, within our leaders, our countries and ourselves; it is indeed a pivotal and transformational time and there is much work to be done.”
♣   Born in San Francisco after the summer of love and before the dawn of disco, MIRANDA LEE RICHARDS grew up in an artistic and bohemian environment that has informed her adult life and work. After graduating from San Francisco School Of The Arts, she began to pursue a musical career. She met Kirk Hammett from Metallica who taught her to play Mazzy Star songs on guitar. Her early demos reached Anton Newcombe and she joined his band, the Brian Jonestown Massacre. MIRANDA then signed to Virgin Records and released her debut album The Herethereafter, a mix of folk, psychedelia, country andindie pop, and found fans worldwide. The critically acclaimed follow~up album Light Of X — the title of which comes from a dream about harnessing beams of light to travel in time — followed in 2009 via Nettwerk Records. In 2016, MIRANDA unveiled Echoes Of The Dreamtime on Invisible Hands Music, which received rave reviews across in the U.K. andU.S., as well as national airplay with MOJO giving the album 4 stars and hailing the first single, “The sublime ‘First Light Of Winter’ is the moment it all comes together, Richards transcending her influences and, no longer constrained, arriving at psychedelia’s higher plane” (1/2016). √   EXISTENTIAL BEASTis yet another confident and inspiring piece of work from MIRANDA, sure to excite her ever growing fan base. Known for her enchanting live performances, look for MIRANDA LEE RICHARDS to perform the new album in venues across the U.S. and U.K. later this year.
The Bigtakeover #80: http://bigtakeover.com/
By Gordon Johnston, Posted Wednesday 14th of Jun 2017
♣   This is a mainly gentle sounding album with a powerful message. Its dreamy and atmospheric sound is livened by occasional bursts of guitar and pedal steel, backing Richards’ smooth and wistful vocals. It’s not the most instantly accessible album, perhaps taking a few listens before the full impact comes through. But it is definitely worth taking the time to get to know. (excerpt) ♣   http://glasswerk.co.uk/magazine/review/11290/Miranda+Lee+Richards/
Below are more critical soundbites for MIRANDA LEE RICHARDS’ new album EXISTENTIAL BEAST and the song “Another World”:
♣   “‘Another World’, a lavishly orchestrated 12~minute outpouring contrasting the American dream with post~election reality, provides the mind~bending climax.” — Bud Scoppa, UNCUT (8/10 album review, August 2017)
♣   “...the ethereal, string~laden and aptly~ titled ‘Another World’. It is epic in length (over 12 minutes) and in breadth with its uplifting call to contribute to solutions.” — Harriet Watkins, THE DAILY COUNTRY (5/1/17)
♣   “Country music heard through psychedelic headphones...” — Danny McCloskey, THE ALTERNATE ROOT (3/31/17)
♣   “On her fourth album, Existential Beast, Richards enchants with a distinctive blend of spacey, harmony~laden pop (‘Back to the Source’) and intimate folk balladry (‘Autumn Sun’). But she also trips out amid the swirling psychedelic guitars and jazzy dynamic shifts of the hard~rocking epic ‘Golden Gate.’” —  James Moreland, LA WEEKLY (May 23, 2017)
♣   “If you’re a fan of songs like ‘Tam Lin’ by Fairport Convention, then you’ll love Miranda Lee Richards’ ‘Another World’ a 12~minute politically driven epic from her new album ‘Existential Beast’. — John Diliberto, ECHOES (6/15/17)
♣   “San Francisco native Richards is renowned for the uncanny authenticity of her throwback sound. But on Existential Beast, her fourth LP, this second~gen bohemian ingeniously employs recreations of baroque folk and psychedelia to bring context to the songs that intimate striking parallels between the political upheavals of 1968 and 2017. The intricate ‘Golden Gate’, with its radical tonal and tempo shifts, comes off like Love’s Forever Changes with Judy Collins signing lead, while the blistering ‘On The Outside Of Heaven’ charges along like a modern~day ‘All Along The Watchtower’. ‘Another World’ a lavishly orchestrated 12~minute outpouring contrasting the American dream with post~election reality, provides a mind~bending climax.” — Bud Scoppa, UNCUT (8/10 full album review, August 2017)
♣   “Take one listen to chamber~folk singer~songwriter Miranda Lee Richards’s wistful, winsome fourth solo album, Existential Beast, and some of her influences are evident: classic English folk troubadours like Nike Drake, Pentangle, Fairport Convention, and protest singer Shirley Collins; cosmic psych collective the Brian Jonestown Massacre, with whom Richards has performed off and on since the late ‘90s; Buffalo Springfield and other ‘60s California country~rockers; and dreamy alterna~poppers Mazzy Star.” —  Lyndsey Parker, YAHOO (6/13/17)
♣   “Richards brings her substantive, poetic lyrics together with a psychedelic, folk~tinged country sound (reminiscent of Los Angeles~based, early 1970s band Spirit) to deliver a powerful look at today’s post~election political climate....think of Richards’ latest as a fairy tale for adults. ‘Ashes And Seeds’ serves as a thoughtful reminder that history is constantly repeating and that conflict is essential to positive change. The smooth sounds of pedal steel highlight Richards’ laid back, fluid vocals. ‘Lucid I Would Dream’ evokes the dream~like state with the effective use of strings and Mellotron while lyrically imagining that with clarity, fears would diminish. Existential Beast closes, as it begins, with hope in the ethereal, string~laden and aptly~titled ‘Another World’. It is epic in length (over 12 minutes) and in breadth with its uplifting call to contribute to solutions. There is much to discover in the beauty of the vocals, the poetry in the lyrics and the uniqueness of the production found in Existential Beast.” — Harriet Watkins, THE DAILY COUNTRY (album review, 5/1/17)
♣   “Warm and precise, ethereal...” — Kevin Bronson, BUZZBANDS.LA (3/31/17)
♣   “Richards’ latest, ‘Existential Beast’, offers a beguiling hybrid of the dulcet sounds she dubs ‘dusty country’ and ‘fairy folk.’ It’s also an overtly political album (there’s even an 11~minute protest song) that embodies its times.” — Susan Moll, STOMP AND STAMMER (3/31/17)
♣   “Musically the album draws from several ‘70s sources — Laurel Canyon country~rock royalty (‘Ashes And Seeds’), Joe Boyd’s Witchseason productions for Island Records (‘Autumn Sun’, ‘Oh Raven’), through to the spoken word sections of David Axelrod’s Earth Rot (the end section of ‘Lucid I Dream’). Subtle use of echo throughout the album adds to the continuity of sound and aids its woozy intoxicating power. The album’s tour de force is saved till the end. Clocking in at 12 minutes, ‘Another World’ is the most overtly political song, calling out those in power and offering a vision of how things could be. Clever stuff.” — Duncan Fletcher, SHINDIG! MAGAZINE. (four~out~of~four star album review, U.K., MAY 2017)
♣   “It ends in epic form with the near twelve~minute traditional folk ballad styled ‘Another World’, adorned with acoustic guitar and subtle strings, its lyrics fully encapsulating the album’s political concerns about a divided world as its gently flows to its string section play~out. Lovely stuff.” — Mike Davies, FOLKING.COM (U.K. 6/15/17)
♣   “...spellbinding 12~minute magnum opus.” — PLUNGER (U.K. 6/15/17)
Website: http://www.mirandaleerichards.com/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/mirandaleerichards
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mirandarichards
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mirandaleerichards
UK SHOWS 2017:
★   Jun 23, Thousand Island (formerly Upstairs at The Garage), London, UK
★   Jun 25, Lamplighter, Northampton, UK
★   Jun 26, The Eagle Inn, Salford, UK
★   Jun 28, ORT Arts Cafe, Birmingham, UK
★   Jun 30, Lamplight Club — Regather, Sheffield, UKFotka uživatele Ben Tais Amundssen.

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