Published Feb 19, 2020Across 40 years and through his work with Sonic Youth, Glenn Branca, William Hooker and others, Lee Ranaldo has shown that he's capable of making anything happen on guitar.
On Names of North End Women, the NYC musician shows that he's also capable of doing something even more adventurous than "anything." Originally conceived as his next solo LP, Ranaldo entered the studio with Spanish producer/musician Raül Refree behind the boards (who produced Ranaldo's last two LPs). The resulting eight tracks ended up so artistically transformative for Ranaldo that Refree's contributions needed to be acknowledged.
The duo's collaborative LP takes a left at every single turn, as Ranaldo experiments with rhythmic speak-singing ("Alice, Etc."), international vibes ("Humps (Espriu Mix)"), ambience and sparse percussion ("Names of North End Women"), electronics and Auto-Tune ("The Art of Losing"), and the most sincere croon to ever come of the noise rock scene ("At the Forks").
Melding pensive acoustic picking with sweeping synths and barely there rhythms, Raül Refree helps Lee Ranaldo sound daring, fearless and downright experimental again on Names of North End Women. (Mute)