New York based artist Raf Sanchez has been making his mark and garnering attention for a while with his genre-mixing exploratory music projects Pikoe and Hunting Stories. Now Sanchez delivers Cowpoke, his most stripped down and intimate body of work to date. Stream it here: https://orcd.co/ovvbdma
Within Cowpoke’s EP debut Sanchez trades the thumping synths of Pikoe and Telecaster crunch of Hunting Stories for a purer sound with well-detailed lyrics and an alluring honesty. “There was a certain exposed feeling that I captured in tracking the EP, particularly the vocals and acoustic guitar. I used a 70’s classical guitar my mom used to play in her folk singer days, and strummed it like an acoustic, giving things a very bedroom/recorded in a closet feel. I was also dead set on not using drums on this record at all. As a drummer by trade, it’s super tempting to want to move my songwriting rhythmically,” says Sanchez.
The EP was originally recorded in 2017 in the bedroom of his shared New York apartment, accompanied by the hum of a nearby air conditioner and distant shouts from the Brooklyn streets outside. After years of keeping the project under wraps in 2020 Sanchez decided it was time to release the songs and he shipped the tracks off to Calvin Lauber (Julien Baker) to be mixed and mastered. Sanchez explains, “For me, this whole EP was a sort of excavation process. I recorded the tracks while living in New York City, sandwiched between 1-year rentals and the drywall borders of 7 roommate apartments.”
With enigmatic, heartfelt lyrics, the three-song self-titled EP will be released on April 2, through CEN/The Orchard. He shares, “This EP was about finding something of value from my past and precariously dusting it off to not damage the wear and tear over the years. I didn’t want to use the recording equivalent of a harsh chemical cleaner to rescue it, so I went light and easy. I focused on extending the songs rather than building them out or making thick walls of sound as I usually do with my projects Pikoe and Hunting Stories.”
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