Richard is a friend of mine—we used to be in a band together—so I feel I should exempt myself from "reviewing" his album, House of the Spirit-Wrestler!. But I also can't not recommend it—it's really good!
Richard lives in Vancouver. He doesn't tour. I don't even know if he plays out. So it's more than likely you've never heard of him and never will hear of him unless you listen to the song below or download the whole album for free.
Since our band broke up way back in 2000, I've watched Richard write song after excellent song. He periodically sends me song or an album he's done. One, back in '04 or so, was pretty slick indie pop and is something I listen to, still, all the time. Once he sent me a couple of pure electronica tracks and those were pretty amazing too.
Now he's onto lo-fi garage. Not to make it sound like he's a dilettante—knowing him for many years I know that he's always been into this stuff; and at their core his songs are pop, regardless of the production. Richard's songwriting is so assured that dressing it in lo-fi doesn't feel like affectation (unlike, say, Wavves). Maybe it's the fact that as a songwriter his points of reference—Jonathan Richman and the Sonics, for two examples among others—stretch further back than the 90s (unlike, say, Wavves). He's not encumbered by his production; the strength of his songs set him free.
- Richard Catwrangleur: Little Witch