By Sam Tornow, Editorial Director
Key Tracks: “This is as Close To Heaven as I Get,” “Never Alone in a Dark Room,” “On the Floor Beneath the Cross”
Riding the wave of an incredibly successful musical year, Sam Ray forges onward with a new release from his ambient-experimental project, Ricky Eat Acid. After years of honing a delicate blend of bubble-gum pop samples and stirring soundscapes, Ray gifts us with, perhaps, the most endearing record under the name Ricky Eat Acid, Talk To You Soon.
Without words, Talk To You Soon takes the listener on a rollercoaster of ups and downs that feel personal and, at-one-time, bottled up. From the introduction, “’hey’,” a track that mirrors the meekness of its uncapitalized name, until the last electric drops of the closer “’ok’,” lies a dreamland of brutal honesty and emotions beyond words.
The album contains track names referencing religion and/or enlightenment. The first of which to appear, “This is as Close To Heaven as I Get,” is two minutes of a pitch-adjusted voice droning the name of the song over and over again, often times hanging on the word “get,” emphasizing the emotional burden of spiritually plateauing.
This theme of spiritual inadequacy progressively unravels itself until the climax of the album, “On the Floor Beneath the Cross,” and “Spinning Around Under the Bright Light in Bliss.” The first of which is an instrumental equivalent of emotional surrender, soaring violins and dragging percussion, and the second of which is a slow, instrumentally-bare song, full of purposeful chord clashes, which hint at the imperfection of bliss.
These small subtleties in story-telling are exactly what make Talk To You Soon such an endearing, memorable release. Like most albums in its genre, it is not easy to unpack, but after a few careful, close listens, Talk To You Soon unveils itself as one of the most touching albums of the year.