Editor's Rating

Sleepy debut four-tracker from fledgling Philly outfit presses the right, sweet US alt.pop and lofi buttons

8

PHILADELPHIA’S languid, lofi outfit The Ricos is the brainchild of artist Joseph (Joe) B. Purcell. 

The band rose from the ashes of Purcell’s past projects with the intention to provide fuzz-ridden indie-pop, on which Joe’s vision is fleshed out by multi-instrumentalist/producer Connor Wynne and local human drum machine Daniel Fisk-Kallish.

And their first steps into the recorded world is out now in the shape of the four-track Spirit State EP, which is out now on Philly’s Utica Records. 

Joe said: “We recorded the EP, which was originally self-released last August, entirely on our own; I also produced and edited the “True” video myself. 

“After putting out the EP last summer and playing a few shows to support the release, I moved to London for a few months to begin writing and demoing our first full-length album. 

“When I returned to the US, we were all prepared to not only continue recording but also begin playing shows again with a new and improved full-band lineup … then COVID-19 hit,” he concludes.

“Blue” is a lovely downward-strum, lofi call to be languid. Bells chime and the spirit of Radial Spangle’s “Canopy and Shoe” stalks the shadows; there’s even a little of Warpaint, texturally. It’s very US alt.pop; and very adept at it it is, too. Maybe dawn music for a canyon, or the cemetery scene from a remake of Easy Rider.

“Wish You Well” treads a similar path. It’s distant and makes you come into its whisper. The ramshackle beauty of rising fuzz is like a muscle stretch, immediately post-waking. “Same” has vocals pushed right back in the musical textures. “I will never let you down,” Joe sings, and drops into ooooos for the middle eight.  It’s blurry and unfocused and quite lovely.

The trio of new tracks is supplemented on digital and cassette formats by 2017’s “True”, the video for which you can watch below. Clocking in at under two minutes, it’s a fleeting sketch; a little more organ-driven, the voices have that timeless echo of Damon Krukowski. 

Let’s hope this accused virus is gone soon; a full album from these guys really wouldn’t go amiss. It’d bring a grin to many of a fan of well-executed, slightly dreamy American indie.

Grab yourself one; hell, grab a band tee too, while you’re there.

The Spirit State EP is available on limited edition cassette, CD and digital download now at Bandcamp.