The original title for Coyote and Mule, according to Richard Colado (a.k.a. Rickolus) was "Penelopeia," a reference to the wife of Odysseus in Homer's classic epic poem The Odyssey.
It's a fitting allusion as the framework of the poem is the return of Odysseus to his family and his home. Coyote marked an arrival of sorts for Colado who constructed the entire album on the same four-track recorder he has been using since he was 16 years old. "It felt like I was coming home," the 31-year-old songwriter says.
Coyote and Mule is no hissy collection of demo-quality songs, mind you. The nine core songs of this new collection are intricately produced pop gems that showcase Colado's incredible ear for engineering and arranging, as well as his keen eye for detail.
The instruments burst forth from this album in bright colors, muted here and there by delirious post-production effects (check out the gloss of mud that gets overlaid on the warbling "Something in my Head" and the dramatic "Mt. Olympus"). More often the songs pop and wow, as on the aptly titled "Crazy Lights," which finds a firmly strummed guitar fighting for room with the harsh thud of a conga drum, or the rich U2-like bass tones that carry the deliriously romantic title track.
Even more impressive is the fact that everything - and we do mean everything - was handled by Colado on Coyote. He played all the instruments himself; he recorded the album by himself in The Green Shed Studio (a soundproofed shed in his parents' back yard) and his old apartment in Jacksonville Beach, Florida; and all the songs are pure studio creations, created on the fly during the sessions.
They were obviously fruitful sessions, as well, as the release ofCoyote & Mule will be a multi-tiered one. There will be nine core tracks released digitally, but Colado and Circle Into Square will also be releasing the album on two different colored cassettes, each with their own silkscreened covers and with their own bonus tracks.
Of course, if you're already familiar with the work of Rickolus, this should all come as no surprise to you. Colado has, after all, recorded and released over a dozen albums to this point, the last of which, 2010's Youngster, can also be found on Circle Into Square Records. His talent was also harnessed by fellow musicians, including Ben Cooper of Radical Face (the two created the upcoming album Clone together) and Astronautalis, the Minnesota hip-hop artist who invited Colado on tour and then into the studio to help out on the 2011 release This Is Our Science.
It has been a long, arduous journey for Rickolus, but he's finally home and invites you all to sit by his side and hear of his adventures. And never you fear: there's plenty of room for everyone.
Cassettes now sold out!