11 Songs, 1 Hour 3 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

CandiceMichelle1

Beautifully emotive, haunting and vivid

Texas-based electronic music composer Keith Richie creates beautifully cinematic ambient and melodic space music that is often inspired by sci-fi movie themes, including classic film scores composed by legendary artists like John Carpenter, Vangelis and Tangerine Dream. Having initially been introduced to Richie’s mesmerizing world of music via his 2015 album Ambient Highways, I’ve enthusiastically monitored his continually evolving music career ever since. Comprised of eleven beautiful compositions, Songs from the Wounded Heart was inspired by moods and motifs of sorrow and mournfulness – featuring both new compositions as well as those compiled from previous albums.



“Harrowing Emptiness” opens with softly hovering chords and synthetic strings as shimmery ethereal vocal intonations gently sweep in to the forefront. Spaciously cinematic and innately melancholy, the piece lends itself as a perfect introduction to the album, effectively signaling the rest that is to unfold. Taken from Richie’s album, Gunslinger, “Jakes Theme” continues in a similar mode blending wistful tones with a pensive mood. “One of These Rooms” follows next – a piece that originally appeared on his album March of the Inanimate. This piece’s foreboding soundscape is perpetually sustained by layered vocal drones that gradually unfolds with additional strings and synthesized textures. One of my favorites, “Candles”, ensues with wistful keyboard notes, haunting vocal intonations and gentle touches of harpsichord, which seemingly recall memories of being in a mysterious and dusty old house during the wintertime. Culled from the album Mister Stichs is “Erin’s Theme” – a deeply emotive and subtly spooky composition that employs a sequenced harpsichord effect amid somber strings – ultimately culminating in an ominous, windy swell towards the end. The hazily gossamer “Cells” slightly recalls Blade Runner-style Vangelis with its celestial washes, crystalline keyboard notes and snippets of spoken word.

Also included on this album is one of my favorite tracks from Richie’s magnificent Ambient Highways album titled “Weeping Angels” – perhaps named as a reference to the terrifying creatures depicted in the Dr. Who series. Introduced by a spacious drone that soon gives way to emotionally-stirring chord progressions and eventual melody reminiscent of a cosmic lullaby, this mysteriously beautiful composition seemingly signals an arrival of sorts. “Yellow Roses” is likewise emotively gorgeous with its glimmering angelic tones and drifty keyboard notes that convey an almost achingly tender mood. The softly reminiscing “I Remember How They Danced” is another piece from Gunslinger that effectively exudes a ghostly, airy quality. “Homeless” previously appeared on one of my favorite albums from last year titled For the Willow Wept, and aptly conveys a sense of wandering about without a sense of belonging. Emitting sparkling textures like flashing orbs along with synthesized strings amid a suspended atmosphere, the piece seemingly conveys imagery of walking along the shore of a bioluminescent sea at night. Taken from his album Singularities is the closing piece, “Aphelion – Time and Distance”, which mesmerizingly opens with Richie’s characteristic outward-spiraling sequencer pattern. A woman’s gentle voice lends brief moments of narration throughout, as subtle shooting star effects further enhance the piece’s dreamily futuristic atmosphere.

Thematically versatile with a distinctive signature sound, Keith Richie’s music is overall beautifully haunting, deeply emotive and often darkly thematic – yet never ghoulish, alienating or overtly frightening in nature. Possessing an amazing knack for conveying some of the most vivid imagery and haunting emotion through his music, Richie certainly lives up to his artistic self-description as an “original ‘n’otion picture soundtrack composer”, with Songs from the Wounded Heart impressively serving as another stellar output!

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