Saturday, July 17, 2021

Conor Richards becomes Boy! Racer with new single ‘People Walk In Circles’

If anyone knows Conor Richards, they will know him as the quiet lead guitarist of the band Birthday Card. The noise-making alternative rock group from Aylesbury brought us gems last year such as l‘Shy Away’ and ‘Talk Talk’

On a roll, it looked like there was no stopping Birthday Card. However, as of recent, the edgy 5-piece have been unusually quiet. 

We need not worry as Richards is now back and seems to have found a voice of his own as he presents us with ‘People Walk In Circles’, the lead single from his upcoming, debut solo project ‘Boy! Racer’ and boy, is it a gem of a single. 

‘People Walk In Circles’ is an easy track and its beauty lies within its simplicity. The track maintains a very simple guitar melody that stylistically harks back to the post-Britpop sound of the early noughties. The copious amount of reverb creates a gentle ambience that could easily transport listeners into a dream state, yet the raw distorted synth that erratically creeps in and out the entirety of the song keeps you on edge. The bass riff is also extremely simple and only enters minimally at the beginning of every bar. This ultra-simplistic instrumentation allows ample space for those all-important drums to shine.  

Furthermore, what drives this track is the drums. The kick is clean and punches through the mix, hitting every beat and the same can be said for the snare; its crisp and doesn’t get lost in the ambience. All the while the hi-hats are ticking along, keeping the groove alive. So, whether it is the kick, the snare, or the hats, the drum kit is the heartbeat of this track. 

As the lead guitarist of Birthday Card, we never really did hear vocals from Conor Richards but in 2021 as the burgeoning Boy! Racer, he has proved to be a talented and highly skilled vocalist, as well as an excellent lyricist and a brilliant songwriter. 

‘People Walk In Circles’ is addressed to those individuals who live a life full of repetition. The song commences with Richards singing “Today’s the same as yesterday / Today’s the same is all you ever seem to say / You make no change in your own life / You kid yourself and every day you ask yourself why”. This harsh social critique and reflection is prevalent throughout the track and ultimately leads us as listeners to question why ‘People Walk In Circles’

This is what makes this track such a good listen. It is not only melodically pleasing but also carries a message and makes listeners reflect introspectively.   

As a debut single, Richards (now, Boy! Racer) has done fantastically with this latest release and independent of Birthday Card, is sure to be making noise and turning heads with his upcoming LP. 


 Isaac semple

Image: Official Single Artwork 

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