When: Thu., Nov. 3, 9 p.m. 2016
Maryland musician Sam Ray’s creative restlessness has led him to juggle several bands at once, but it never impedes his ability to craft structurally sound songs that can make body organs quiver. Still, fond as I am of his work in mumbling indie-rock group Julia Brown and emo-leaning punk outfit Teen Suicide, Ray’s ever-evolving solo project Ricky Eat Acid has the strongest field of gravity in my book. On the new Talk to You Soon (Terrible Records) he deconstructs the spectral ambient force of 2014’s Three Love Songs only to recombine those sounds in ways that build on the otherworldly serenity while at the same time pushing it to the breaking point. The crusty, palpitating “As We Speak” injects Talk to You Soon with high-voltage frisson through black-metal wails and feedback, though for most of the record Ray stacks featherlike instrumentation—even the modest percussion feels lighter than air—so that even the most subtle changes quake. He anchors the new single “Fucking to Songs on Radios” with a pitch-shifted vocal that repeats the title, and the jittery edges of Ray’s affected singing linger as the tune transitions through its elegiac melodies. It’s a reminder of how a great song can take residence in our heads and grow (or fester) long after the electric moment has passed.
Price: $12, $10 in advance