mirandaleerichardslightofxThe Herethereafter, the debut album from Los Angeles based singer/songwriter Miranda Lee Richards, was one of my favorite albums of the early part of this decade. Nearly eight years later, Richards returns with Light Of X, twelve tracks (plus one hidden track) that more than deliver on the promise of that first record. Like its predecessor, Light Of X is a mixture of folk, rock, and psychedelia, though with a little less emphasis on the latter this time out. Richards calls the music found here “Psychedelic Chamber Folk Rock,” the “Chamber” part referring to the lovely string arrangements that appear on some of the songs. Since Richards released her last record, her singing voice and her songwriting abilities have matured: Light Of X represents both a continuation of The Herethereafter and a progression forward. It’s a elegant and lovely work, filled with warmth and compassion, and it’s done with enough intelligence and built in resistance to easy sentimentality that it should appeal to even those listeners for whom the word “folk” is a red flag. It’s enough to give “Pixie Fairy Dust Chick Music” (as Courtney Taylor from the Dandy Warhols teasingly refers to Richards’ music) a good name. Standout cuts: “Breathless,” “Life Boat,” “Early November” and “Last Days Of Summer.”

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mirandaleerichardsIn advance of a long overdue follow-up to her 2001 debut album, The Herethereafter, Los Angeles based singer/songwriter Miranda Lee Richards has released a very promising four track EP called Early November. Richards has described the music on her forthcoming album, Light Of X, as “Psychedelic Chamber Folk Rock,” which is actually a pretty tidy summation of the various influences you’ll find in her music. Her singing is lovely and evocative, and her music is buoyed by warm, compassionate and intelligent lyrics. All the songs are top drawer, with the title track and “Life Boat” being particular highlights, with the spoken word final track, “Oddity,” displaying a more experimental bent. This is good stuff, and should tide over Richards fans and Richards fans-to-be until the February 2009 release of the LP.

http://www.myspace.com/mirandaleerichards