Music writers – including yours truly – throw around the words epic, ethereal, and soundscape quite a bit. Anything that’s somewhat amorphous and presents an aura of openness and grandness is immediately slapped with one or more of these labels, allowing the journo to convey how stirring the music truly is, as well as the idea that music – even without words – can tell an emotional story.
Well, William Ryan Fritch’s music cannot and will not escape these descriptors. In fact, the perfect way to describe his August release, an enchanting EP entitled Heavy, is that it’s chock full o’ epic and ethereal soundscapes. This all makes sense, as Fritch is a budding master multi-instrumentalist that works in composition for film – his music is capable of wrapping you in its warm embrace and transporting you to another dimension.
Stay tuned for an entirely new EP Empty, due November 11 on Lost Tribe Sound and which, like Heavy, is part of the label’s subscription series of Fritch’s music, which includes 10 albums (6 1/2 hours of new music) released in less than nine months. Listen to Heavy below, starting with opener “False Substance”, which feels a bit like the soundtrack to a fantasy flick:
If that’s not a large enough wall of sound for you, there’s more. Not only is Fritch releasing his own solo recordings, but he also collaborated on another, more well-known project involving epic soundscapes – Death Blues, which just released a new album entitled Ensemble. Death Blues is the multi-disciplinary project by Milwaukee’s Jon Mueller that “addresses the inevitability of death as impetus to become more present in each moment.” Fritch is credited as the music’s co-composer and arranger alongside Mueller in the new album’s liner notes, and then he joined Mueller in the recording studio to contribute vocals, keys, bowed and plucked strings, horns, woodwinds, mallets, and additional percussion. Oh yeah—and he also mixed the album.
Ensemble is a record that completely consumes its listener, mixing so many different and unexpected (in this day-and-age) instruments into a beautiful psychedelic cacophony. Listen below, and don’t miss out on the 7-minute track “Loss”: