Riches' Multidisciplinary 'Fantasy Chapel' Points an Exciting Way Forward for Young Galaxy's Catherine McCandless

BY Sarah ChodosPublished Sep 24, 2020

Riches is a collaboration between Young Galaxy's Catherine McCandless and choreographer Wynn Holmes of Lo Fi Dance Theory and Ils Dansent. The dream pop Young Galaxy were known for can certainly be heard in Riches' newest project, Fantasy Chapel, and Holmes' work has been said to use "dynamic movement and dance-based practices to ignite connection, creativity, and community," so it will be interesting to see the dance component of this, as well.

Dream pop combines with feminism, religion and folklore; it's all parts earthy and magical, with both playful and serious tones. This project is, indeed, intended to be multidisciplinary. From listening to the music, it is apparent that there is a clear story arc. Nine longer tracks are broken up with five brief instrumental interludes, referred to here as "Thresholds." Each with a unique mood, ranging from dreamy to ominous, they break the story arc into segments representing the characters' journey.

The first songs contain a hopeful expectancy; "Fantasy Chapel," while not breaking from the trance-like feel of the album, has singable lyrics and a catchy, easy-to-discern melody. But then, "Eyes Open" and "Thief In Your Eye" express disillusionment both in the lyrics and the tone of the music, while "Thief in Your Eye" is tentative-sounding. The album finishes with a sense of reflective, resilient wisdom.

While this is clearly only one component of a multidisciplinary project, it also stands alone nicely. Connection, creativity and community have been ignited, and this is a springboard from which the larger project can develop.

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