Richard James - We Went Riding
We Went Riding is the brilliant new album from Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci co-founder Richard James; his second album since his cult band went their separate ways.
Richard’s first, The Seven Sleeper’s Den, was a slow burning collection of love songs and instrumentals sung in English and occasionally Welsh. Somebody said it sounded like the Velvet Underground with the ratio of New Yorkers to Welsh people reversed, and they weren’t far wrong.
This follow-up is an entirely different breed, a multi-layered extravaganza that sees Richard letting loose his inner pop auteur. (“I wanted to be ambitious in the production of this album,” he says).
Together with long time producer / collaborator / schoolfriend Iwan Morgan (aka Recall), We Went Riding enlists some of Cardiff’s finest musicians to help realise Richard’s vision, including Gorky’s bandmate Euros Childs and singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon, who adds her bewitching vocals to the album’s beautiful closing track ‘From Morning Sunshine’.
Recorded in a house in Pontcanna, Cardiff, overdubbed in various locations around Wales and polished off in Carmarthen, the album reveals the many faces of Richard James, most of which will come as a surprise to those who knew him as the quiet member of Gorky’s, the architect of the band’s softer side. At times raucous, psychedelic and plugged in, at others gentle, folky and countrified, We Went Riding is a fully realised mini-masterwork.
Born and bred in Carmarthen, West Wales, Richard James formed Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci with schoolmates Euros Childs and John Lawrence while in their mid-teens. They recorded and released eight albums and numerous EP‘s and singles, toured the world and split up when it stopped being fun. They are today regarded as one of the main influential bands in the renaissance of folk, pop and psychedelic music.
Richard now lives and makes music in Cardiff, where he is also involved in curating the musical side of the Laugharne Weekend festival, a literary and sonic extravagance that takes place each Eastertide in Wales’ strangest township. His latest venture is a monthly multimedia event called In Chapters, taking place in Cardiff’s Chapter Arts Centre and featuring brand new collaborations with a range of Wales’ musical and literary talent.