When did Three Love Songs come out, January? I guess the seasons in New York have fully changed, but Ricky Eat Acid’s excellent debut LP still feels like it’s growing and blooming. But yoooooo—apparently the prolific Marylander behind a lot has moved himself on, releasing not just outtakes but, now, a brand new EP. Sun Over Hills connects dots between the textural ambient moments of Three, his more noise-oriented live show and, in a surprising new twist, DJ Rashad et al.’s skittering footwork. The title track has to win some kind of left-field prize, flipping a Slim Thug line from “Still Tippin’” that’s retroactively really twee-seeming and a sneaky Future sample into a beat that’s maybe not as danceable as, say, “Ball His Azz Up,” but makes me want punch my monitor just as hard. Does Sam Ray do DJ sets, and are they safe? The EP officially comes out on July 8th, but he’s leaking a download today because fuck it. He wrote a cool reflection on the EP below, too.
Download: Ricky Eat Acid’s Sun Over Hills EP (direct download)
Sam Ray: “So with Sun Over Hills, I just wanted to make something that was fun for me. Making Three Love Songs was really taxing and a great experience, but not particularly fun. Also, this year I started playing live as Ricky Eat Acid for the first time and realized that, though it’s phenomenally transcendent in certain situations, ambient/drone music is not particularly fun to play for audiences, no matter how much you ‘sell it’.
“Basically, I’d always felt pretty self conscious about making the kinds of music that I’ve adored for years. Ambient/drone/whatever kind of bliss/noise stuff always fell into my hands in a way I liked, but something felt off whenever I’d try to make anything ‘bigger,’ from house to trap to more traditional beats to juke, footwork, garage, anything that could fall between EDM-IDM scale, so to speak. I figured everyone doing that stuff professionally knew what they were doing, and I, of course, didn’t. I learned pretty quick this year that no one really knows what they’re doing all that much, and if anything, everyone’s just going about it however they want and figuring it out as they go as much as I am. The biggest thing missing was confidence, and though I might never really have that, I can fake it pretty well in knowing that I’m always going to try and make the music I want to make at any given time—the music I love and have loved for years (or weeks, sometimes).
“So yeah, I wanted to make a lot of big, crazy, weird tracks that I can play at shows as easily as I can have fun bouncing around the room while trying to produce them for a change. I wanted to make songs that can rattle a car heavy or a sub at a venue instead of being ethereal in headphones. Three Love Songs was an exercise in juxtaposing rare moments of energy against a tidal wave of noise and texture—whether blissful or unsettling. This EP is instead an exercise in letting little moments of transcendent beauty sit against songs largely structured around energy and motion, from footwork & house influences to more modern electronic styles/dance stuff.”