From what started as a serendipitous conversation between Raze Regal and James Petralli (founding member of White Denim), Raze Regal & White Denim Inc is the fruit of a wholesome tale of friendship between two highly creative individuals both negotiating their ways through equal hardship. Based out of Austin, Texas, these two conceived a sort of companionship throughout the pandemic which subsequently transformed into this powerful, and somewhat unlikely musical duo.
The record is filled with unique sonic motifs which nod to Blue Note jazz (Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter most notably), Sly Stone and even George Duke from Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. Quite a departure from the classic indie-rock sound of White Denim… well, not really. Underpinning this entire record is an undeniable sense of authorship which perfectly amalgamates two musicians who have approached the project from alternative contexts. If Jacob Collier spun some of his music theory magic on a White Denim tune, this might indeed be the final product. This is perhaps the most suitable analogy I can give you.
‘Ashley Goudeau’ centres on a local news anchor from Austin, representative of, for Raze, these odd relationships you form with individuals you often interact with digitally, but never meet. It’s a standout track on the record, alongside ‘Complaining In Heaven’, which hints at the supernatural. What these two songs, and the record more broadly, set their scope on is the importance of partnership and relatability to other people – vital themes during the pandemic, but still totally relevant to life moving forward. Throw all of this into a deeply strange and unique mix-match of rock, jazz and fusion, and out on the other side comes this wonderfully weird collaboration.