Tuesday, November 27, 2007

richard youngs - sapphie

i felt as if a relaunch or such was in order. this blog is meant to be a place for me to share music that has been truly effective in my own personal development. so, from now on there will probably be a far more expansive description in relation to each album that is posted on here. this isn't a blog dedicated to hype or new release, but rather records that are bluntly emotional and transcend simple genre descriptions. i was thinking about leading this new phase of with one of Nation of Ulysses' records (the inspiration behind this blog.) but instead have settle with one of my more recent favorites, Richard Youngs' "Sapphie".

richard youngs.

so, why exactly does Richard Youngs get the honor of starting of this new trend of realism? well for starters, his music is bluntly obvious. drawing from a steady background of folk and "classical" guitar, his instrumental sections are almost always highly dense and minimal arrangements usually relying on the sounds of acoustic guitar. over top this Youngs can go many ways from heavily effect ridden vocals (his latest, 2007's "Autumn Response".) to totally demented guitar playing (see his collaboration with Tirath Singh Nirmala.). Although Youngs covers a variety of ground through all of his various releases, "Sapphie" is perhaps his most basic and bleak. simple acoustic guitar lines, Youngs unmistakable voice, and nothing else. "Sapphie" features compositions inspired by the loss of one of Youngs' pets among other things and the amount of emotional presence he is able to put into the performances can only be heard.

"sapphie" cover.

"Sapphie" was recommended to me by rateyourmusic.com user, ormi. i'm not sure if there was ever a specific moment it clicked, but this record has seen my obsession of yet another peculiar songwriter come yet again. perhaps the intense personal nature of the recording struck me the hardest. as Youngs himself described it, "Sapphie's" recording was "recorded round my friend John's flat and it was the first time I'd ever done more than one take." the process was apparently intimate as Youngs said the early takes of the record were marked by their background ambient noises of neighbors leaving and appliances at work. Youngs also made an important note about the recording in the fact that "there's no overdubbing and no remixing. everything went straight to DAT. what you hear is the best of what went on." and of course that is what draws me to constantly play this record, its intense personal nature. for sure, a late night listen.

richard youngs - sapphie (1998)


Darren said...

Great post. I just bought Autumn Response, and its one of the most intriguing releases I've heard this year. Thanks!

john doe said...

I'm downloading this and, from your description, really looking forward to listening to it. I'm expecting something like Jason Molina's album "Let Me Go Let Me Go Let Me Go" but I may be way off. That is a great album, though. Extremely bleak.

Roxanne said...

I love this album. It means a lot.
thank you.