Ric Robertson’s Strange World EP drips with syrupy trance-funk like an intergalactic spacecraft rising from swampy waters at the far edges of the galaxy, crash-landing in the middle of Frenchmen Street. Where his 2018 full-length debut The Fool, The Friend channeled the lovesick wryness of John Prine, Randy Newman, and Paul Simon, Strange World leans into the rhythmic enchantment of George Clinton, Sly Stone, and Dr. John. Through touring with Rhiannon Giddens, playing with the Woods Brothers, and as a member of Lucius, the North Carolina native’s multi-pronged approach to music crystallized in the barrooms and sidewalks of New Orleans. For Ric Robertson, songwriting and rhythm are two distinct musical muscles. “There’s trance music, the visceral dance approach to playing, like the old-time fiddle music I grew up playing or New Orleans funk, and then there’s the crafted narrative and poetic storytelling of a song,” he says. “I really am equally into both and they're different muscles to exercise. But to really turn to New Orleans, in terms of the one thing that I get out of the Cajun and zydeco music, New Orleans funk, and R&B, is this rhythmic trance element that I find to be completely parallel with old-time fiddle music from North Carolina and Virginia and where I grew up.”
Co-produced and mixed by Dan Molad (Lucius), Strange World will be released 25 via Free Dirt Records. “Louisiana Love Thing,” the first single from Strange World will be released Tuesday, August 18, featuring a video directed by photographer and dance choreographer Bobby Bonsey and Cameron Scroggins.