On this latest seven-song EP, X-Dreamer, singer/songwriter LeRiche stakes a claim for himself in the competitive alt-folk world, conjuring comparisons to bittersweet ‘70s troubadours, albeit with a modern edge.
The release is a significant step forward for the native of Port aux Basques, Newfoundland who has had a career in music in his sights from an early age.
After seven years of gigging around his home province, and studying the subtler points of the recording industry at the College of the North Atlantic, LeRiche struck deals with Toronto-based Big Story Entertainment and Fierce Panda Records in the U.K. Both companies one can surmise heard echoes of one their significant clients, Coldplay, in LeRiche’s latest work.
Two singles from X-Dreamer, “River Runs” and “Under Covers,” have already been gaining radio traction south of the border, and the latest track pulled from the EP, “Dreamers,” is sure to build on that momentum with its hypnotically positive message.
While his sound at this point is too intimate to challenge the likes of Ed Sheeran on the arena circuit, LeRiche is definitely on a similar trajectory, and an artist to keep an eye on in the coming year. Check out more at lerichemusic.com.
How does X-Dreamer stand apart from your previous release?
It differs from my past EP in many ways. For one, I've explored more electronic sounds and samples in search of finding ways to blend in my hip-hop influences. The EP also features a few co-writes whereas the last did not. X-Dreamer has a more streamlined message and sound.
How would you describe your songwriting process?
I like to write alone. I like to dive down the rabbit hole until I have to pull myself out. It often starts with one line or maybe a riff/short chord progression. As soon as I have a piece of a musical skeleton I begin writing lyrics. I'll often write a few verses with as many variations and possibilities as I can think of. In my mind, I've always written like a rapper or a spoken-word poet—eventually connecting dots, and filling in the puzzle pieces. The music part often comes easily to me. It’s the lyrics and the focus of the idea of the song that I spend most of my time racking my brain over. It's like pulling out a piece of yourself.
What are your fondest musical memories as you were growing up?
It's a toss-up. One is being young and watching my grandfather play his guitar and sing old country standards alone in his room, just being in awe of his badass-ness. The other fond memory is being a teenager playing in my first rock band with my friends. We would have the time of our lives jamming in my dad's work garage, where we would stack old tires like obstacles and platforms to leap off, hang from the ceiling on chains while playing guitar solos, and trash our jam space after every rehearsal. Those were the days!
How does being a Newfoundlander influence your art?
In every way possible of course! It's a big part of me in ways I don't think I even understand. I've loved music since I can remember which I can attribute to being raised in a place and in a family where music and storytelling is just a part of our heritage. Growing up on an island has always fueled my love for the sea and the sky, and I think this inspires me to travel. I've written more songs about the ocean and crossing it than I could count.
What's been the most significant change in your life in the past year?
That’s easy, adjusting to being a father. My fantastic daughter Skylar is just over a year old now, and every day presents new gifts and challenges. Also, the surprising arc my musical career has taken. For me, 2017 was one hell of a year!