#Review: RAC – BOY đź”´

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RAC (aka AndrĂ© Allen Anjos) is a Portland-based, Portuguese-American Grammy Award-winning songwriter, musician and record producer. To date, he has released a couple of studio albums and already had a career spanning 10 years. Now, 2020 marks the release of his third album, BOY, featuring a wealth of guest talent. Here’s what we have to say about it…

RAC - BOY.jpg

BOY is best described by Anjos himself, who pushed his artistic limits by navigating his way through his complex childhood. “This album is about growing up,” writes Anjos. “I was tapping into melodies that remind me of that period of my life. Rooted in a sense of nostalgia, growing pains and coming of age. It’s an elusive feeling but I tried to capture it and ultimately re-interpret it through a modern lens.”

This nostalgia is evident throughout the album, with a series of 80s synths and funky guitar vibes to bring together this collective body of work, whilst still maintaining a contemporary edge to it. Plus, the wealth of guest talent across the album is a testament to RAC’s creative magnetism. “It’s conversational,” he says of his working style with the artists he features. “We find shared experiences and I give them space to tell their story through my lens.”

Whether it’s the bittersweet melodic ‘Boomerang’ (featuring Luna Shadows); the guitar-heavy ‘MIA’ with captivating vocals from Danny Dwyer or the sweet-sounding ‘Oakland’ (featuring Winnetka Bowling League) about leaving someone behind to start somewhere new, there is something for everyone on this rather summery record.

[RAC has] created a wonderful collection of contemporary pop songs that are beautifully understated yet superbly powerful!

Standout tracks would have to be: ‘Passion’ (featuring Louis The Child) for its light, funkiness, vibing along the lines of Foster The People or Two Door Cinema Club; ‘Together’ (featuring Evalyn) which is not only a catchy tropical house-like track but the beat almost double-times part way through, making it quite different; and ‘Sweater’ (featuring Maddie Jay) – a straight-up funk track with great guitar melodies that run alongside the vocals yet both give each other space to play in the gaps between them.

That’s not to forget the previously-released singles from the record: ‘Carefree’ (featuring LeyeT) that has crisp, sometimes fast-paces vocals and simplistic production melodies that make it really stand out; ‘Stuck On You’ (featuring Phil Good) with rap-esque verse vocals and a clearly catchy chorus; and ‘Change The Story’ (featuring Jamie Lidell) – a very bass-heavy track with horns and a David Bowie meets Prince vocal to top it off.

The album has a couple of fillers that could easily have been left off, ‘Next To You’ (featuring Emerson Leif) is fairly mumble sung whilst Solo’ (featuring Gothic Tropic) is chaotic in places and not the best track on the album, by far. ‘Better Days’ (featuring St. Lucia) is a little disappointing too – it’s a strong 80s power ballad and though the blend of male and female vocals is nice, St. Lucia is not featured much.

The album is stitched together by a series of musical intros and interludes all around off-key sorts of melodies with nonsensical vocals. ‘Gomas’ is very much 80s meets Game Boy, whilst ‘Dolores Park’ is probably the most beautiful of them all.

It’s easy to see how this producer has taken the theme of growing up and collaborated with others to tell his story with a deep sense of nostalgia, creating a wonderful collection of contemporary pop songs that are beautifully understated yet superbly powerful! It’ll be interesting to see where RAC takes his next album – will it be as thematic or something different?

Rating
4


‘BOY’ is out now and can be downloaded from Apple Music – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/boy/1500009251


BOY on Spotify

Stuck On You featuring Phil Good (Music Video)

Carefree featuring LeyeT (Music Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this songwriter and producer’s latest album? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Charly


   

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Having released the EP, Wild World as part of Charly & Faust (interview here), back in October 2017 and now releasing her solo record, Film Scores, we had the chance to chat to Charly about who she’d like to collaborate with, what recent chart song she’d love to cover, what she gets up to before and after a show and much more. It’s all here…


Hey, how’s it going?
Pretty good. Thanks for asking.

What future plans have you got? Any new singles or an album in the pipeline?
I just released an album, a month ago, called Film Scores, regrouping songs I composed for short movies I got the chance to work on. I am now recording my new artist solo EP with two really talented musicians, Eric Reymond (bass and artistic production) and Coralie Hervé (drums and percussions). I can’t wait to release it and to perform it live with these two great friends and co-workers.

Where do you take inspirations from when making your music?
From everywhere. My parents always told me to look around me and to not just focusing on myself and my problems. It can be hard sometimes *laughs*. But it really helps me.

What’s your usual process for writing/recording?
For writing, it depends. When it is for a short movies, I focus on the script, talk to the filmmaker and then try to link the story to personal experiences to get a more specific idea of what should be expressed through the music. When it is for me, I usually start by playing guitars and when some melodic pattern catch my ears, I start to sing on it. I usually end up with some words that help me figuring out what the song is about.

If you could do a collaboration with anyone, who would it be and why?
I could say Patty Smith or Tracy Chapman, but right now I would say Asaf Avidan. I rediscovered his music, and it really inspired me.

That’s great! I’ve not heard of him, but I’ll definitely check him out. So what music have you been listening to most recently?
Asaf Avidan, Twenty One Pilots, LP, M.I.A, Tank and The Bangas, etc.

If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
‘What About Us’ from P!nk. I really love her way to tell things that are hard to tell. Covering her stuff helps me to write lyrics actually.

What makes a great show for you?
The connection with your band mates and with the audience.

Do you have any pre-show or post-show rituals?
Before the show jamming and get a beer with the band, after the show get another beer with the band and the audience.

Has anything scary ever happened to you on tour?
Not really. I saw weird stuff, but it happened to others so that wasn’t scary for me. I am sure if one of my band mate reads this interview, he/she will try to scare me on our next tour just to change that…

HAHA! They sound like a fun bunch of people. Do you have any other passions outside of music?
Gardening. That is my new obsession and everyone around me is tired of it. Except my cat which loves the idea of eating all the plants I am trying to grow.

*Laughs* What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
Maudie. It is a movie from 2016, but I just saw it on the plane coming back form France, and I really loved it. It has been a long time since I enjoyed a movie like that.

If, in say 20 years time, a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Anyone who will like to play this role. I am not sure it would be really interesting for an actor though. My life is boring.

*Laughs* I bet it’s not that boring – making music is fun! If you could be any chocolate bar, which one would you be?
I might disappoint some people, but I don’t like chocolate. It hurts my teeth.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Take what comes without asking yourself too many questions and be positive whatever the situation gets in front of you.


Charly‘s releases are all available:


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