Richard Andrew has a very important day job as the vital provider of beats to the legendary Underground Lovers, and has been moonlighting a solo project under his own name R.J. Andrew. Andrew has many strings to his bow, though – he is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and composer. This man of many talents has just released a single ‘The Fates’ ahead of an album consisting of – according to the man himself – cinematic ballads entitled ‘Black River’, due out on 23 February 2023.
Softly coasting over rippling arpeggiated acoustic guitars, Andrew reveals soft, yearning vocals that float over a gentle wave of weeping strings. There is a longing tone, reflective and ethereal.
‘The Fates’, according to Andrew:
…in Celtic culture are essentially there to determine our destiny….in other words, we have little or no control as to how our life pans out. I’ve always been fascinated by this concept and to a degree believe that life is pretty much a ‘ride’, and plan as we might – things turn out however they do.
And so – this song takes that notion to the extreme where the people inhabiting the song have found themselves somewhere they’d never imagined they’d be.
The result is something quite beautiful and reposed – in stark contrast to Andrew’s windmill drumming and wild demeanor you see when the Undies play.
The accompanying video directed by Kieran Doolan uses vintage photographs sourced from the NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive, Justice and Police Museum, and The U.S. National Archives and Defence Visual Information Distribution Service. Andrew says this takes up the theme about our helplessness in directing life’s path – in Shakespeare’s words, as flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; they kill us for their sport:
It’s in the eyes of most of the poor souls in the photographs that I get the sense that they can’t quite believe that they have found themselves at this desperate point in their lives.
It’s a moving depiction of fate:
This is marvellous stuff.
‘The Fates’ is out everywhere now and you can get it through the link below.
R.J. Andrew will be launching this gorgeous track on Friday, 2 December at the Merri Creek Tavern
in Westgarth with special guest Rob Snarski. Limited tickets are available here.
Feature Photograph: Suzanne Phoenix