Raymond Richards

The Lost Art Of Wandering


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"In the late 90’s, east-side LA was in the throws of a post-indie explosion; a network of stoned bands ranging from neo-psychedelia to pseudo-country overran Spaceland (our generation’s Troubadour) and the local Silverlake Lounge. I was playing freakbeat records twice a week in dive bars, half of Spacemen 3 was crashing at my house (my drop-out roomate was Sonic Boom’s tour drummer) and it was during this blur that I met Raymond Richards, a clean-cut all-American pedal steel guitarist playing in Mojave 3 (the country-tinged side project of 4AD shoegaze royalty, Slowdive). I was instantly swept off my feet, head over heals in love with Raymond's weeping tone—the most chill-inducing, emotionally responsive dialog I’d had with music since discovering Satie as a child—it was then and it is now, truly haunting.

After a year of personnel trials, my roomate and I stole Raymond for our own band, and not only did he smother our songs with his enchanting steel, he was virtuosic with a variety of atypical instruments such as baritone guitar and theremin, he utilized them all. The band was short-lived—I joined Ariel Pink, Raymond fled to Portland and me subsequently to New York City—but in founding the ESP Institute years later, there was always a recurring mental note; we must make Raymond’s pedal steel album. I had managed to wrangle his blessed performance on a remix for Project Club’s El Mar Y La Luna, but it took almost a decade until I once again wore the producer hat and we began working on The Lost Art Of Wandering, a title borrowed from Sam Shepard’s Stories. Spiritually candid, expansive yet enveloping, this is the strung-out, visceral country music that simply radiates from Raymond. Each song is his set of coordinates in a vast open terrain, holding a sentimental familiarity, a truthful longing for the simple comforts that diffuse life’s complications, a place to get lost." –Lovefingers

    Release Date: 21 May 21 Cat No: ESP070