Keith Richie is a Texas-based electronic music composer with a diverse and ever-growing catalog of releases. Notably inspired by artists such as Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and John Carpenter, Richie’s albums stylistically range from Berlin-school, to film score, to ambient and chill-out, with each release based upon a central theme that conveys a soundtrack-type listening experience. Comprised of ten compositions spanning fifty-seven minutes, For the Willow Wept (Sunrise Edition), was inspired by a particularly difficult time in Richie’s life. Effectively conveying this theme, the music is deeply emotive and often permeated by a haunting melancholy throughout, with shimmers of sunlight and glimmers of hope sprinkled along its course. Incorporating both vintage and modern synthesizer sounds, Richie even brings in subtle acoustic elements, which lend an organic warmth to these melodic electronic soundscapes.


The opening track, “Little Angels”, is a gently melodic and beautiful piece that effectively recalls 1980’s and 1990’s-era electronic new age music. Imbued with subtle hallmarks of Vangelis, it conveys an air of dreamy innocence with its fusion of harpsichord, lush pads and breezy, moderately-paced rhythm. Following next is the languidly drifting, “Missing You Between Lucid Dreams”, which imparts shimmering tones, subtle sequencing and the sound of rain effectively evoking images of a fog-veiled forest. One of my favorite pieces on the album is “Sea Dragon”, where celestial vocal textures, oceanic waves and sorrowful strings ultimately conclude with whale-song towards the end. Equally stunning, the mysteriously ambient, “Over the Horizon”, is characterized by a liquid pulse engulfed in a thick fog, as it effectively recalls that of riding on a low storm cloud across a barren landscape. “Homeless” is another standout which aptly conveys a sense of wandering and search for belonging. Emitting sparkling textures like flashing orbs and synthesized strings amid a suspended atmosphere, the piece seemingly conveys imagery of walking along the shore of a bioluminescent sea at night. “For the Willow Weeps Underneath the Stormy Skies” is one of the most engrossingly beautiful pieces of music that I’ve heard as of late. Evocative of darkening clouds filling up the sky, low-swirling tones and the sound of an encroaching storm underlie a most hauntingly gorgeous melody that is incredibly subtle yet deeply profound.

A bit lighter overall than some of Keith Richie’s more dynamically sequencer-based works, For the Willow Wept (Sunrise Edition) variably hovers between ambient, new age and classic electronic space music. Shifting the focus away from the more cosmic themes that Richie frequently visits, the music herein often elicits an air of medieval-era fantasy within its earthbound atmospheres. Having developed a signature style that has become increasingly recognizable, Richie is one of the most notable artists to recently emerge in the electronic music scene, with this latest album proving itself as another masterwork not to be missed! ~Candice Michelle


For more information please visit the artist's website. This album is also available at Bandcamp, Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby and Google Play


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