Castanets: City of Refuge
Recorded in a Nevada hotel room over three weeks, City of Refuge is full of quiet dread. Ray Raposa’s voice doesn’t appear until track four, and the preceding songs are sketches of guitar noise bouncing against close walls. When he sings, his words grasp at self-understanding. “As long as I’ve lived, I’ve wanted to die,” he says on “Shadow Valley.” Only his cover of “I’ll Fly Away” breaks the loneliness—not that it needs to be broken. The fine-tuned spaces let you hear every rough callous scrape across the acoustic strings, every quick intake of breath before a verse. It’s not a quiet that comes with wide-open space, but a sort of personal isolation, a story that takes place in a vacuum.
Listen to Castanets' "The Destroyer" from City of Refuge: