Friday, September 25, 2020

Music Review //
Riches
"Fantasy Chapel"


https://r1ch3s.bandcamp.com/album/fantasy-chapel //

On their debut album "Fantasy Chapel", Riches creates a sound which is somewhere between pop and the unknown.    The first song starts off the album with some rather powerful vocals and that sets the tone for the rest of these songs.   They are all quite intense and on the titular track I am reminded of both Madonna and Queen.   Through some synth it can feel like we're floating in space.   Some light hip hop and Enya comes out as well.    It's dreamy and blissed out with spoken words now with continuing beats.

"God Swatter" has beats and soulful vocals like Pink meets Garbage.  I originally read the title as "God Sweater" and thought it took on a whole new meaning.   "She" is trance, almost industrial, while "Eyes Open But Not Looking" is a power ballad.   This also takes us into our second song about eyes called "Thief In Your Eye".    "Lily" is an absolute banger while "Nakedness" has great beats.   It really begins to remind me by the end of something you would have heard on cassette during that time, like NKOTB, as it just ends with layered vocals singing "I just want a revolution".

Throughout this album there are also tracks called "threshold" and then a number, which are like little interludes in between songs.   They are instrumental and can be relaxing or just kind of a way to smoothly go from one song into the next.   There are five in total and if you had taken them out and just gone from song to song without them this album might not have the same overall affect on the listener.   To go from "Thief In Your Eye" to "Lily", for example-- you can't just do that.   You need that break in between with "threshold 3", as it kind of winds you down from the previous song and prepares you for "Lily".

While this has no physical release as of right now, I wouldn't mind experiencing it as a cassette.  However the only issue I would have with hearing this on cassette would be that at some point it would stop and you would have to change sides.   Yes, you can pull out songs like "She" or "Nakedness" and call them ~singles~, listening to them on their own.   But the truly best way to experience this album is in its entirety, from start to finish, with no interruptions.   That is not something I find about albums a lot but Riches also has an overall sound which just needs to be heard as well.

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