Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the summer, you’ve likely come across a couple of posts 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 and 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 was released last month and the album 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 the years; but it came from the most unlikely source — from a dream. 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, Brit Pop and 60s psych 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, Raphael’s latest reveals him to be a songwriter, who can craft an incredibly catchy hook and has an ability to have both a signature sound and aesthetic while being a musical chameleon, who can morph into any genre, any style at will.
Directed and produced by Marta Figuredo, the recently released animated video is set in a intricately detailed and drab world in which a Raggedy Andy-like Raphael carries a flower that opens up a brightly colored, wildly psychedelic universe.