Still Sitting In Our Time Machines’ is the new single from South-East London based duo Raf and O (AKA Raf Mantelli and O Richard Smith) and their new record We are Stars, is out today on bandcamp. https://rafando.bandcamp.com.
A track concerned with our human journey, dealing with themes of science fiction crossing over into modern reality. Framed in a retro futuristic backdrop of funky plucked guitar fragments and a swaying beat, scattered with Raf’s artful flights escapism, intersecting the solar system between Bowie and Kate Bush. It’s an enigmatic and escapist fantasy. Today we are debuting the accompanying cinematic video below, starring legendary Buster Keaton, an edit from three of his movies, with glimpses of live footage from Inter-Pla-Net-Live, the shows the duo perform online, edited by the pair into a new narrative.
We Are Stars out now on Telephone Records is full of stories, inner struggles and beautiful melodies, inspired by movies, life and stars. Marking out their critically acclaimed song and sound world for over ten years, Raf and O have released four full length albums to date. Praised for their emotional depth of songwriting and intensity of performance, their supporters saw the likes of Mike Garson (David Bowie’s pianist/ long-term collaborator) eulogising Raf and O for their unique interpretation of Bowie’s Lady Grinning Soul. Sonic explorations have included setting music to Shakespeare, composing for theatre, performing highly regarded interpretations of David Bowie and Kate Bush songs and with special collaborations under their belt, they’ve played venues such as The Queen Elizabeth Hall and The Union Chapel.
’We Are Stars’, their fifth album, is multi-faceted and cinematic. It reflects our contemporary society flourishing and struggling simultaneously: tinged in retro futuristic 50s blues and anxiety ridden, upbeat, thoughtful and metaphoric, can be summarised as existential arty poetic visual pop for the 21st century. It’s a musical story-telling journey through worlds, stars, lives, survival, sad stories, love stories, stories gone wrong, the beat goes on. Rangy vocals, featuring Raf’s fluid distinctive and emotional dramatic tones, guitars, bass, electronic textures and grooves and O Richard’s voluptuous double bass, are the palette engaged throughout the album; frequencies, as the lyrics point out – “We Are Stars in the great unknown, frequencies could be the key, high and low make the universe, the world go round, to the tune you don’t know just yet’” – from the eponymous ‘We Are Stars’.
The Album launch is in London, 21 October 2023 at St Mark’s of Regent’s Park promoted by Kaparte.