Thursday, 28 December 2017

Miranda Lee Richards - Existential Beast

 

(This review first appeared in issue #68 of Shindig! magazine.)

Invisible Hands CD/LP

There's been a steady stream of records concerned with ecology, corruption and the state of the planet over the last 40 years. What makes this offering from LA-based Miranda Lee Richards so special is its articulate power. Without naming names political leaders are evoked and rebuffed by intelligent poetical argument.

Musically the album draws from several 1970s sources – Laurel Canyon country rock royalty ('Ashes And Seeds'), Joe Boyd's Witchseason productions for Island Records ('Autumn Sun' and '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.