Originally from New York, now dividing his time between Buenos Aires, Argentina and New York’s Hudson Valley, Richard Shindell is a writer whose songs paint pictures, tell stories, juxtapose ideas and images, inhabit characters, vividly evoking entire worlds along the way and expanding our sense of just what it is a song may be. From his first record, Sparrow’s Point (1992) to his current release, Careless (September 2016), Shindell has explored the possibilities offered by this most elastic and variable of cultural confections: the song.
The path that led him to songwriting was both circuitous and direct. Taking up the guitar at the age of eight, he spent his formative years learning the instrument – first acoustic, then electric. And he listened: Beatles, Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Motown, Bowie, Hunter-Garcia, King-Goffin, Paul Simon, Bill Monroe, Rogers & Hammerstein. Their songs gave the impression of having always been there, so solid and self-evident were their melodies, hooks, grooves, and lyrics.
Richard Shindell’s new album, Careless, represents the culmination of years of work, preparation, and growth. Meticulously recorded over three years in Upstate New York and Buenos Aires, Argentina, Careless might be an anachronism: at a time when the very idea of the record-album is called into question – when technological developments and listening habits challenge its status as the natural vehicle of an artist’s presentation of new material – Shindell offers us an ambitious, luxurious, full-length statement.
While his signature acoustic guitar style is used to good effect here, Careless finds Shindell plugging in more.
“Returning to the electric guitar has transformed my relationship with all aspects of my career,” he says. “The wider sonic and dynamic range of the electric has been a real inspiration, rejuvenating.”