There's something to be said for the risk-takers in indie music these days. Creatives that work outside of the box and freely jump between genres and styles are what the entire genre was built upon. One of the most inventive of these creatives is none other than Brooklyn-based Richie Quake, an artist who has often flirted with elements of funk, psychedelia, lo-fi, and soul in his music. His new EP, Voyager, is a journey into the unknown propelled by Quake's genre-bending originality and thoroughly relatable interpersonal stories. What better way to tell the stories encapsulated in the project than through Quake's own words as he walks EARMILK through Voyager in an exclusive track-by-track breakdown.
"Waiting For Your Turn To Speak"
"Waiting For Your Turn To Speak” was inspired by a text post on Instagram. It read: “Are you listening or just waiting for your turn to speak?”- which ultimately became the chorus. This short quote was enough to spark an idea for a whole song because it seemed like such a universal struggle. We’ve all been on both sides of that statement.
"Sensitive” is essentially a conversation with a lover. It’s about the conflicting emotions that happen when you’re in love with someone but still feel like they don’t have empathy for your needs.
"Never See You"
"Never See You” is about ghosting someone. It speaks to that moment in the relationship when you realize that it’s over, but you haven’t figured out how to break the news to the other person. Just like the development of the song itself, these feelings start out casually, but then grow more intensely into a whirl of emotion if suppressed for too long.
"Afterglow" is just about feeling lost in life and the desire for connection. “Lately I don't know where I'm supposed to be, In the afterglow. Someone take me home” is a very important lyric.
"Rush” is the most intimate and stripped down track on the EP, featuring only acoustic guitar, synth bass, and floating vocals. Self-produced with additional writing from Maika, the song is about accepting the chaos of life. It differs from the other tracks in that its lyrics don’t directly address an interpersonal relationship, "Rush" stands out as a moment of pure self-reflective existentialism.
This song is lyrically very psychedelic and was written to be taken in a few different ways: On one hand, the experiences and emotions being written about could be taken as being about an acid trip with a lover. The “voyager” may be the lover or the drug itself, or perhaps a combination of the two. On the other hand, it could be interpreted as having greater depth beyond a personal experience and dealing more with the desire to escape our worldly and mortal limitations in a broader sense.
Throughout the journey that is Voyager, Quake stays effortlessly cool in the face of love, lust, and loss. Approaching each track with a fresh, inventive voice and an infectious falsetto in his back pocket, the Brooklyn creative is one of those rare artists that seemingly can't fail when putting together a song.