Who doesn’t love music as a time capsule? Who doesn’t love music as a transporter, to another place, feeling, or time? Recorded between 1981 - 2020, ‘Ancient Loyalties’ conjures many of these feelings and revealing modes of music’s uncanny capability to take you some place. Sometimes it’s a porch or bedroom in a quiet, probably shabby, suburban home with one foot planted in reality and the other rather... elsewhere. Sometimes it’s in the courts or fields of a faraway land either mostly forgotten or entirely imagined altogether.
As the sounds of Neil Richards’ music float through the room I find myself beginning to picture an ageing individual playing and singing these sweet folk songs to themselves, to the birds, to the tape recorder. Much like a child might play intricate games alone, or draw colourful pictures with rich and fanciful tales to accompany their newly realised physical artefact of their imagination.
There’s a certain “la dolcezza della vita” to be cherished on the contents of this cassette. Ever so humble and lofty. It really is a wonderful thing, music.
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