by tom johnson
One of the more undecorated gems in Scotland’s recent crown, Rick Redbeard’s ‘No Selfish Heart‘ LP found The Phantom Band frontman in quietly reflective form, wrapping that most weathered of voices around a wonderfully wholesome set of stripped-back musings that swung steadily between Americana-ish folk tales and more traditional elements of his homeland.
Announced today, brand new album ‘Awake Unto‘ is set for release on June 17th – once again via Chemikal Underground – and while the ten tracks follow a similar blueprint to its skeletal predecessor, the overall journey is full of far more sustenance, adding further instrumental flourishes to the delicate frameworks that he so compellingly renders. Or, as Rick himself puts it: “If No Selfish Heart was a tasteful black and white pencil sketch, Awake Unto gets the crayons out to colour it in.”
Premiering below, lead track ‘Wild Young Country’ is also the album’s opening number and it presents a wholly romantic waltz, Rick asking “How would you like to dance around with me tonight, as naked as when we were born?” above a distant roll of antiquated piano and soft percussive adornments that bring an atmospheric, almost cinematic quality to the mellow musical backing that sways and creaks forlornly like some dusty forgotten house that once called itself a home.
A distinctly fetching introduction to the new material, you can stream the new track now, and pre-order the new record, via the links below.
‘Awake Unto’ is released on June 17th, via Chemikal Underground
You can pre-order it on Digital/CD/Deluxe Vinyl here
photograph by jannica honey