It’s been a couple of years since we last got an update from the Land of There and its prince, jester and alderman, Richard There. And in that time, we’ve missed his sparse, haunting, occasionally psychotic bedroom folk songs. He was our first-ever Weird Band Poll™ winner, so he’ll always have a special place in our hearts.
So imagine our delight when Richard emailed us an update in the wee hours this morning. “I´m releasing my new album,” he wrote. “It’s the first time I release something on vinyl and I´m very happy with it. I´m doing it as always without any label and all by myself.”
The album is called Less Is Less and you can pre-order a vinyl copy right now from Richard’s website. You can also watch the first video from the record, for a track called “Axolotl,” but only on one condition: That you turn your monitor sideways before you hit “Play.” Trust us, it’s worth it.
See? Pretty cool, right? The song itself isn’t as weird as Richard’s earlier stuff, but it’s really beautiful. We look forward to hearing the rest of it, even if we have to turn the speakers sideways first.
More news from the Land of There, population: one. Our old pal Richard There, he of the vaguely unsettling comic strips and even more unsettling lo-fi bedroom pop songs, has just made his very first album, Future Come Back to Me, available to the public for the first time. “I made in 2008 and just showed to some few friends,” he writes. “It´s a very simple album, every song is a cappella, no instruments used to record the album but it´s something that I still like very much.”
The album is available now on Bandcamp; you can stream the whole thing for free or buy it as a name-your-price download. If that’s too big a commitment, you should at least watch this delightful (and unsettling) little animated video Richard made for the track, “If You Call Me.” We think it’s his version of a love song, but it could also be a playground argument. It works on many levels.
A few days ago, our old friend Richard There posted a comment on TWBITW noting that he has a new video for his song “Silence Train”—his first proper music video, according to his website. Congrats, Richard! MTV will be your oyster any day now. That is, if they ever start showing music videos again.
“Silence Train” was directed by Brian Square—a pretty weird musician in his own right—and features lots of found black-and-white footage of trains, bustling city streets, diving horses and various other peculiar images from bygone days. The song it accompanies describes what sounds like a fairly humdrum train ride, but Richard imparts the whole thing with a dreamlike sense of foreboding and dread. His music has gotten less rough and more atmospheric, too, at least on this track. We like!
In other news from There, Richard is playing his first-ever U.K. show in Colchester on June 2nd, the first date of what he plans to make into a full-fledged U.K. tour. We’re not really sure where Colchester is, but if you’re anywhere near it and you dig weird music, go. The show will also feature this guy.
Ready to take a ride on the “Silence Train”? Please present your tickets and existential angst to the conductor. Thank you.
It’s another first here at Weird Band central: for the first time ever, we’re gonna feature an artist based on the votes of you, our loyal reader(s). Yes, a few months back, we decided to create a “Submit and Vote” page where bands could submit themselves for possible inclusion on The Weird List, and we could let all y’all out there on the Interwebs vote on whether we should include them or not. After a few false starts (let’s face it, the talent pool among fans of this blog does not run deep), we finally found an artist worthy of The Weird List. So here he is, folks: the one, the only, the truly bizarre Richard There.
Now we still don’t know much about Richard, except that he’s from Germany, he’s a fan of ours (at least he tell us so, and hell, why wouldn’t he be? we rock), and he makes funny, somewhat creepy little comic strips and funny, even creepier little songs that kinda sound like they were written by a schitzophrenic off his Clozapine. You know, lyrics about voices in his head and whatnot, sung in a thick German accent and accompanied mainly by solo guitar played with what we’ll charitably describe as shaky determination. He also has a lot of songs about birds. We’re not really sure what that’s about.
Not one to rest on his laurels and/or in a pool of his own filth, Richard also has a project called Spielplatz der Bosewichte, a musical collaboration with a fellow freak named Joewl Levis. It sounds pretty much exactly like Richard’s solo stuff, except with another thickly German-accented guy singing sometimes, too.
Anyway, Richard doesn’t have any videos on YouTube*, so we’ll have to deviate from our usual format and just suggest that if you want to hear some of Richard’s music, head on over to Last.fm, where he has pretty much his whole catalog available, most of it for free. We’d recommend starting with “Cat in My Head,” which combines all of Richard There’s obsessions—birds, shakily played guitar, and things inside his head—in one two-minute burst of talent-show-in-the-psych-ward awesomeness.
[*Update: Since we first posted this, Richard has alerted us to the fact that he does, in fact, have a YouTube channel, which currently features a short film he wrote the music for. So here it is. Also, he informs us that he is not technically from Germany but from “There.” Thanks for clearing that up, Richard!]