Music is most often gauged by soul, but rarely is it embraced for being soulless. The Castanets, however, pull from the vacant tones of highway songs, scraping away the insides of
In The Vines, the third long-player from Ray Raposa and company, is the culmination of a period of deep depression for the songwriter; a period that climaxed when he was robbed by masked gunmen outside his home. And this harrowing period plays out like a march of the damned, his skeletons shaking their way out through an acoustic guitar, pedal steel apparitions, and his dry, sullen voice.
And yes, The Castanets do occasionally wear thin, worn to dust by Raposa’s tombstone drawl and tumbleweed tact. But even at its darkest, In The Vines envokes a ghastly beauty with little in the way of soul.
In The Vines is out now on Ashmatic Kitty Records.