Sam Ray’s experimental electronic project Ricky Eat Acid joyfully destroys genre boundaries on his latest release, Talk To You Soon, out today via Terrible Records. Just like his music, Ray’s song choices jump across multiple moods and genres, from delightful EDM songs to nine-minute Red House Painters tracks, and everything in between. What’s more, while Ricky Eat Acid’s music is largely instrumental, today’s playlist provides some deeply personal context for the artist’s choices. We hope you enjoy, and have a great weekend!
– Dave Lucas, Talkhouse Marketing Manager
Nghtmre x Flux Pavilion – “Feel Your Love”
This is the best song of the year. Nothing will top it. It’s just great. I want to write a whole piece about EDM and how it is just designed purely to delight the listener on a visceral level. Everything about it (when done well) is designed to bring joy, and that’s what it does. If it’s not your style, it’s not your style, but trying to say that there’s no value to it because as a listener or tastemaker you need your music to be discordant and joyless and obtuse and conceptual only is just sad. You probably only watch long-ass, boring-ass movies if that’s the case. I like long boring movies as much as any other boring person, but I’m not going to shut off Stepbrothers whenever it comes on TV. Stepbrothers is hilarious. If I’m driving for eight hours and I wanna actually thrive I’m going to put on Recess, not Gavin Bryars or Basinski. This song fucking rules.
Mahler – “Symphony 5 in C sharp minor: Fourth Movement: Adagietto, as done by Sir John Barbirolli & the New Philharmonic Orchestra”
When I lived, briefly, in New York, I would wake up almost every morning around eight to move my car, and in doing so I would go buy two donuts from the nice Italian bakery and then buy the boss-ass iced almond mocha with the crushed-up dark chocolate powder in it from the Spanish coffee shop. After these things were acquired, I would sit on the same block I started on and devour all these things, while chain-smoking, blasting the AC and listening to the commercial-free classical station as loud as I could get away with comfortably. This was probably my favorite thing to do alone in the city, along with going to the movie theater in the strip mall about fifteen minutes further into Queens in the middle of the day and watching budget-ass movies with the teens skipping school.
It was all very sad in hindsight. I was going through a pretty rough spot and living under a ton of undue and unfair weight and anxiety, but this particular song (this particular version, even) by Mahler would come on sometimes and take away every single bad feeling I’d be experiencing, if only for nine minutes, and by the end I would be weeping in the summer sun next to the park while the dude who pushed the Italian ice cart around shook his head at me.
I got the hell out of New York after a while (nice place, y’all can keep it, though) but in times of duress (of which there were a fair amount this past winter and spring), I’d fall back to listening to this symphony and always sob my way through the Adagietto. It’s one of the most timeless and overwhelmingly Good things we’ve accomplished as Humans Making Art. When I die, maybe I’ll get to thank him for it.
Red House Painters – “Katy’s Song”
This is just another almost-nine-minute long song I would sit in silence in my car listening to whenever I had absolutely no will left to live. The world can have Mark Kozelek, I don’t need him, but he did write some of the most influential and meaningful music in my life, since I was a teen, and I’ll listen to bootleg-ass versions of it until I die, I’m sure. This song is notable also for the time I ate thirteen dollars worth of lasagna from the grocery store hot bar in one sitting while listening to it on loop, in my car. That was cool. So this song has one positive association at least that differentiates it from the Mahler track.
Amber – “Sexual (Chillout Mix)”
Pretty goddamn close to a perfect song. I could listen to it for hours and hours. I probably have. Actually I know I have. It’s so good. Next.
Moby – “When It’s Cold I’d Like To Die”
Stop sleeping on Moby. Open yourselves to Moby. Artists, listen to Moby. Moby is just as important as Aphex Twin or whatever. This song deserves to be in the Library of Congress. Also it soundtracked one of the best moments of television ever, on the best show that was ever on TV.
Jeremih – “Czech Republic”
Is there a better r&b singer working today than Jeremih? I don’t know. It’s possible; I don’t really stack artists against each other. But I fucking love Jeremih. Late Nights: Europe is one of the most sonically inventive albums – not just r&b albums – I’ve heard in forever. The production is nuts cool, and his voice and melodies have never been cooler and more natural. It’s great to hear him just doing what (I at least want to assume) is his thing finally, considering it’s a mixtape dropped almost as unceremoniously as his actual major label album and without any of the buildup or expectation.
It’s so, so, so good. It is utilitarian, too, in the best way. You can fuck to it. I’m tired of weird conceptual “art” ass r&b albums you can’t fuck to. Y’all can keep that for PS1 or whatever, no shade.
Wreck & Reference – “Languish”
These dudes made the best metal album of the year, maybe of the last few years. I don’t know, their last one was just as good and inventive and I forget what year it came out.
They are so goddamn tight and it’s so goddamn cool to hear their tracks in higher definition – mostly to hear Ignat’s truly nuts drumming with so much more clarity. No one is pushing boundaries of metal (and really, music, if we’re being real) like they are. Listening to this track when I first got to hear their new album, I felt the same way I did when I was a literal child hearing Aphex Twin’s “Girl / Boy Song” for the first time and knowing in that moment that I wanted to learn how to make something just like it. It’s not even the best Aphex Twin song (to me, at least) but it’s just so goddamn alien when you first hear it.
Zedd – “Clarity (Feat. Foxes)”
Speaking of clarity, this song might still be the most perfect song anyone’s written. I’m gonna go ahead and just say that it is. It’s just so good. Listen to it. Tell me it’s not a perfect song. It just is. I will listen to it every day of my life and never, ever be bored.
Tracey Lawrence – “Alibis”
This song is just beautiful. It’s also perfect. It’s just such a wonderfully written song. Last two tours I did, it was a staple of driving through any terrain – mountains, deserts, plains, etc. Driving in silence just listening to “Alibis,” night or day, it was awesome. Great song. Nothing else to say. Just reminding you how good it is.
Anderson .Paak – “The Bird”
God, I love this song. It’s a good song. He’s so good.
Gucci Mane – “Hell Yes”
Autotuned, drugged-out, pre/mid-jail Gucci (understandably) doesn’t get enough credit, but even at what most people generally consider his career’s low point, he was putting out some truly inventive, incredible rap music that continued to shape the whole region’s sound (if not just rap’s sound as a whole).
Gucci’s always been the best, and unlike a lot of the other “best rappers of all time” that get relegated to their “era” or “fall off” or whatever, he’s just continued to stay relevant and adaptive and thrive all these years. Listen to his recent tracks with Thug and Yachty for proof if you need it (you shouldn’t, but listen anyway, those songs are great). Still, just like Lil Wayne’s post-peak “super codeined the fuck out” phase, this period in his career gets overlooked – especially now that he’s back – and this song is a really perfect example of why that’s a mistake.
Nicki Minaj – “Stupid Hoe”
The best music video of all time and one of the best songs ever. Goddamn.
(Photo credit: Alex Locater)