Born in South Africa during a time of political unrest to an opera singer and theologian, Richard Cranach's childhood set the stage for an unconventional life ahead. Continual moving around and displacement from cultural norms and friends eventually led to introspection and a fascination with outsider music as he came of age. After an attempt at theological academia, he quickly realized that addressing life's grey areas via artistic expression would provide a more satisfying route in his life. After leaving college and learning guitar with encouragement from his older brother, Richard formed Perch in 1990, an experimental grunge band who quickly gained popularity in Philadelphia before relocating to Hollywood. Once out west, the band soon found its way deeply into the 90's grunge movement along with a role in season 2 of MTV's Real World. While in Hollywood, Richard and his bandmates appeared in the movie Reality Bites and participated in several KROQ live music events.
After four years of touring and making records, Perch's members decided to move back east with Richard staying on in Southern California. He found a hideaway room outside of Los Angeles where he picked up an acoustic guitar, playing with experimental open tunings. During this time, he met other artists who expanded his musical influences, which ultimately led to a redefining of his sound. Shortly thereafter, Richard met Dana Kruse in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, forming a duet known as Carte Blanche. Once again, Richard had found his place back into an evolving scene, sharing the stage with Silversun Pickups and Giant Drag amongst others. They enjoyed the support of a small record label (Shmat Records) who released their EP, "Summer's End". Hard times fell on the duet who romantically and professionally separated, putting an end to the band's nascent indie following.
With Carte Blanche irrevocably dissolved, Richard packed up and moved to the Northwest to start afresh. While in Oregon, Richard met a love interest and muse who spurred in him a flurry of creative output, including his current single, "Summer Breeze". After five years of songwriting and honing his creative method in Oregon, he returned to his beloved Los Angeles in 2012.
Richard has now begun the next chapter in his musical journey, forging a new path as a solo artist who crafts straightforward, deeply personal songs that transport his listeners to a unique place where his musings on love, loss, and life's misgivings strike at the very core of what makes a song vibrant and relevant. While being stylistically his own, Richard has managed to capture and incorporate an elusive but essential quality that defines some of the very best of modern music. Be it the blues in early soul and R&B, or the tristeza of Brazilian bossa nova, that quality is the ability to take the most melancholic feelings of the human condition and indelibly express them to the accompaniment of astonishingly beautiful music. Richard's songs accomplish that, with his rich and deeply textured voice drawing you into an emotionally complex world that nevertheless finds its expression in simple song structures. His voice is world weary at times, laden with heavy experiences, and often betraying a disquieting resignation over a love gone wrong. He's an unwilling mouthpiece for the broken down and the broken hearted, yet his lyrics are infused with a wary hopefulness that prevents his songs from ever descending into melodrama.
Listen to his debut single, "Summer Breeze", where he effortlessly combines an unlikely stylistic blend of Venice Beach bohemia with the DIY laid-back aesthetic of the Pacific Northwest to create a love song of rich tapestry using the sparsest of verses. Lilting guitar notes gently pull you further into the song, until you suddenly realize you've been brought into a melancholic musical heaven. The song is just the first from a fountainhead of creative inspiration; we can expect that Richard will not relent until the levees break.