The debut of the Los Angeles-native sextet Races is better than many bands’ third or fourth records. Year of the Witch beautifully chronicles the heartbreak of both sides of a failing relationship, an emotionally broken individual and the death of a brother. Through the whimsical vocals and fantastic use of organ and percussion, Races has brought us something that is universally relatable.
Beats Per Minute (formerly One Thirty BPM) - 78 Based on rating 78%%
RACESYear of the Witch[Frenchkiss; 2012]By Kerri O'Malley; March 30, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGGlistening waterfalls crash just like honey through the second single on RACES’ first full-length, Year of the Witch. A hangover from last November’s introductory EP of the same name, “Big Broom” was written by 23 year-old singer Wade Ryff in his parents’ bathroom on the heels of a terrible break-up and at the edge of a bleak horizon that can only be reflected in your folks’ tiles. Yet the amplified hush and rush cool the darkness down, and beneath the surface hovers the plaintive and promising lyric: “All my debts and all my dreams will one day be swept clean.
Nobody is going to be angry at California's RACES. They make sweet, atmospheric folk-rock with a psychedelic quaver; singer Wade Ryff has an easy, soulful rasp; and their Frenchkiss debut full-length Year of the Witch is nicely full-bodied. They do a lot of things right, which is kind of the problem. There's practically a cottage industry based around rustic, marketable indie-crossovers, and Fleet Foxes' shadow is pretty hard to escape.
Races have found the proper home from which to launch their debut in Frenchkiss Records. With Year of the Witch focusing on the struggles of life for those in their mid-20s, this release matches the undeniable emotional charge their new label mates are known for and marks this group as one with a serious future ahead. No longer just a haphazard band among friends, this sextet of South California natives have each found their rightful role.