If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past month or so, you’ve come across a couple of posts featuring Seattle, WA-born, Berlin, Germany-based singer/songwriter, guitarist, and producer Gordon Raphael. As a producer, Raphael has worked with an impressive, who’s who list of contemporary indie rock artists including The Strokes, Regina Spektor, Damon Albarn, Ian Brown, The Cult‘s Ian Astbury, Hinds and others; however, Raphael primarily sees himself as a singer/songwriter and guitarist. “I love producing, but playing guitar and writing songs is what I’ve always done,” Raphael explains in press notes. “I wanted to show what I can do on the other side of the desk all the time, but producing kept getting in the way.”
Raphael’s full-length debut Sleep on the Radio draws from Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie, Mick Ronson, Kimono My House-era Sparks, Frank Zappa and prog rock among others. Reportedly “View From Blue,” the album’s first single was part of over 1,000 songs he had written over years; but it came from the most unlikely source — from a dream. But in particular, “View From Blue” is a part of a selection of 12 songs that were carefully honed and perfected to the point that they were living, breathing and fully fleshed out songs that needed to be played, recorded and heard – – right now. And as a result, while the song clearly nods at Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie — think “Queen Bitch,”
“Panic in Detroit,” and others — the anthemic, hook-laden song possesses a forceful urgency underneath its boozy, free-flowing psychedelia.
“Savage,” Sleep on the Radio‘s latest single sounds as though it draws from Evil Heat-era Primal Scream and Brit Pop as twinkling synths, buzzing and whirring electronics are paired with blazing guitar pyrotechnics, an anthemic hook and a spacey, psychedelic vibe that belies an incredibly sensual nature. And much like its preceding single, “Savage” reveals a songwriter, who can craft an incredibly catchy hook and an ability to simultaneously be a musical chameleon while having a signature sound and aesthetic.