In an age where a wah pedal and a couple of beards are enough to get a band labelled 'psychedelic', it's great to see a band doing it properly. Sydney's Richard In Your Mind are just such an outfit. Full of inventiveness and spark, Richard In Your Mind make beguiling, genuinely odd, mind-bending music, the kind as likely to veer off into a hip hop verse as it is an extended sitar workout. Now, four years after starting out, the newly expanded five piece are about to gift us with My Volcano, their keenly awaited second lp.
Richard In Your Mind started out in 2006 as the recording project of former roommates Richard Cartwright (guitar, vocals, harmonica, sitar et al) and Conrad Richters (bass, synth, guitar). Cartwright spent eight years working for the St. Vincent DePaul, amassing an enormous collection of forgotten vinyl that would inspire the sunny, eclectic, psych-fried sound he and Richters were now making. With a suitably flamboyant live show, Richard In Your Mind quickly raised eyebrows and ears on the Sydney scene and beyond.
In December 2007, the band dropped The Future Prehistoric, their debut album, to much acclaim, and spent much of the next year touring behind it, introducing their sprawling, adventurous sound to heads all around the country. Later, the band added Pat Torres (drums) and Rice Is Nice labelmate Jordy Lane (guitar, vocals).
On the first day of last summer, the band put out the digital-only Summertime ep, a suitably sunny, whimsical set of tracks which ran through, in typical RIYM fashion, early 90s hip-hop, British Invasion-era garage psych and sounds entirely of their own invention. Summertime boasted what Cartwright called a more 'productiony' sound, thanks to the addition of producer, and now fifth member, Brent Griffin of SPOD fame.
Now, approaching the depths of winter, Richard In Your Mind are just about to drop My Volcano, their hotly anticipated sophomore lp. My Volcano sees the band expanding their sound ever outward, taking in lush psychedelia, Odelay-esque party jams, lo-fi antifolk and tribal freak-outs. Lyrically, as well as tonally, the new record covers a lot of ground, from the dark to the dreamy to the sunburned and strange. It's a truly great record from one the country's most inventive bands.
- Pete @ Gaga, 7 June 2010