Release Date: Feb 21, 2020
Record label: Mute
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Across 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 ….
Two albums involving producer Raül Refree are released early this year, and his name appears prominently on both, suggesting a collaborative involvement deeper than that of the typical producer. On the face of it the two projects are very different: one is recorded with Lina, a singer of the soulful Portuguese style of fado, the other is with former Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo. But what these records have in common is that in both Refree takes away guitars from places where they might seem integral: the fado genre in the case of the Lina album, and a musician who made his name playing that instrument in the case of Ranaldo.
For this album, former Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo reteams with Spanish musician and producer Raül Refree, who produced 2017’s twelfth solo album 'Electric Trim', to commit to tape a series of songs inspired by an eerie late-night walk he took through a section of Winnipeg's north end neighbourhood where the streets are all named after women. It’s not likely to appeal to fans seeking more of the virtuoso abrasiveness that Lee brought to his old day job, as it features very few guitars at all. The songs were "composed using marimba and vibraphone, using samplers… and a modified cassette machine".