EP Review – Wanderer by Raul Gonzalez Jr (2023) (Self Released)


Austin, Texas-based solo artist Raul Gonzalez Jr is back with his first new music since the Z Tapes label released the intense lo-fi sound of his Keeper EP in the heart of lockdown times in May 2020 (can you believe such scary times were nearly three years ago now?).
Perhaps as a reflection of the more certain and decidedly more vibrant post pandemic times we now reside in, this Wanderer EP, whilst decidedly still bedroom-pop in aesthetic, now seems more polished, fully formed and energetic with the occasional whiff of melancholy generally being usurped by subtle enthusiasm.
Such vigour is best seen in Seasons, with its A Shame About Ray era The Lemonheads‘ jangly 90s guitar-pop sound being augmented by the modern proclivity towards glorious fuzzy reverb, as well as in an Only Child track that contrasts The Umbrella Puzzles‘-style casual, drawn-out twanging riffs with a vocal delivery that is simply slathered in sweet fey.
While there is clearly more energy in this follow-up EP, all of the genuine beauty is derived from the artist’s regular excursions into slightly sub-mid tempo musical avenues. Meek and Gloom and Doom take on Big Thief’S  jangly indie-folk essence, while Dungeon Master of Puppets‘ sweet melodies are adorned with an extra sense of Grand Drifter style plaintive.
Bedroom-pop at it’s most precious.






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