Though I recently commissioned Ricky Eat Acid for a FADER mix and interview, I have been avoiding writing about the album that gave rise to the occasion, Three Love Songs, out last week as the first vinyl release of Orchid Tapes, who’ve already nearly sold out its second pressing. Partly I was waiting to review his forthcoming live debut this Sunday in New York, but that was just an excuse, I think, because a bigger part was this feeling that I usually associate with Burial—a sort of fear in the face of it, because some visceral reaction of mine says, like, “your relationship to this thing has not matured; don’t get in the way of it before it does.” I think it’s worthwhile to think that, but also a hindrance: shouldn’t that process never end? Over time, forever hopefully, the most impactful albums in your life will always change for you—someone recently found the “sort of like a dream, no better” sample from Air France’s “Collapsing at Your Doorstep,” and seeing how they flipped not just the vocals but the strings really inspired me. Anyway, considering something is fine, but in the meantime not enough people know about Ricky Eat Acid yet, and rather than me dragging my feet and scratching my chin it seems more important to offer people the chance to feel the way I feel about this, as soon as possible.
First a few noteworthy things, though. Like Burial’s music as a representation of London, I like thinking of Three Love Songs as exploring suburban Maryland, where Ricky Eat Acid grew up (and so did I), and specifically exploring the borders between the rural Mid-Atlantic and suburbs—the photos he’s posted to an accompanying website suggest this is important to him, as does the general stylistic tension between ambient open space and more beat-oriented production, which to me suggest physical exteriors vs. interiors, respectively, but sometimes changes places so it’s the other way around, too, with interior psychic space evoked by ambience, and the outside world by Drake samples and drums. Sam Ray aka Ricky Eat Acid has done some good interviews, too, about his process: in Interview, he explains the provocative song titles (“Big man’s last trip outside” was inspired by his cat dying; “God Puts Us All in the Swimming Pool” was inspired by The Sims), and in Portals, he shows the literal spaces evoked by the “Inside my house” songs. My favorite thing on the whole record, before I’m done, is the “Take Care” sample on “In my dreams we’re almost touching,” and the way it becomes ambiguous: my only wish is I die real… my only wish is to die and be alone… Like that Air France bit, I’m excited to see how my understanding of it changes over the time.
Download: Ricky Eat Acid’s Three Love Songs LP