Local Wire

Castanets

Ray Raposa, the singer-songwriter at the core of Castanets, makes oddly elusive music. The lyrics are oblique, the delivery is matter-of-fact, almost spoken as much as sung, and the playing is minimal, just enough music to make the tracks into songs rather than poems or conversation. First Light's Freeze balances folk, indie pop and atmospheric studio techniques for songs that ping-pong between hallucinogenic mystery and arresting simplicity. "No Voice Was Raised" could be about a relationship or the state of the world. It starts with a simple, twangy guitar line and descends into a maelstrom of electric noise. "A Song Is Not the Song of the World," the only up-tempo track, deals with the meaning (or meaninglessness) of life with a jaunty tune that belies its baffling imagery. And "Dancing With Someone" uses sparse Autoharp strums to accompany a somber tune that may sum up Raposa's philosophy: "I do not want to explain and I'm not going to."
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J. Poet