After three albums fronting the Role Models, Canadian-born, UK-based Rich Ragany has opted to expand his musical horizons and, with the help from a collection of talented musicians, Andy Brook, Gaff, Ricky McGuire, Kit Swing and fellow Role Models alum Simon Maxwell, Ragany has succeeded in just that with the incredibly uplifting record, Beyond Nostalgia & Heartache. This release was described to me as having the style of Tom Petty with elements of The Beatles thrown in. I would also add hints of country rock into that mix; an additional layer that pulls together the whole album. It is a pop-rock-driven delight for the ears that is well worth the time.

The first track, “Sometimes we Can Hear the Voices,” opens with an ambient flow that builds into the main body of the song creating an instantly uplifting feeling as Ragany’s vocals kick in. The positivity is emphasised more as the chorus takes hold and any stress one may be holding is melted away. This very feeling is contained throughout the entire record. “Heartbreaks Don’t Cry” will have you instantly drawn in as the tempo of the record increases. The chorus is so easy to sing along to and the added puppetry of the music video that accompanies this track adds a visual delight that has to be seen to be appreciated!

“Fade in Blue” is possibly the most uplifting tune on the record with Swing sharing vocal duties with Ragany, the pair create an almost Country vibe that just works so well. The harmonisation is near perfect with both complimenting the other flawlessly. Although Swing has provided back up vocals for much of this album, her presence here is much more noticeable. “Sleep” dials things back somewhat with a more sombre tone – It is chilled and relaxing and the shift in tone from the other tracks compliments the album as a whole.

Beyond Nostalgia and Heartache is a record I am so delighted to have had the opportunity to discover. As outlined above, the positive and uplifting vibes that this release secretes are the very feelings the world needs right now, so I urge you, give this a spin. You will not regret it!

Beyond Nostalgia & Heartache Track Listing:

1. Sometimes we Can Hear the Voices
2. Beyond Nostalgia and Heartache
3. Heartbreakers Don’t Cry
4. It was Lonely at the Time
5. Fade in Blue
6. Sleep
7. Marionette
8. The Man Who Couldn’t Give it Away
9. Last Chance, Dear
10. Breakout Til Tuesday
11. A Long Way to Yesterday
12. This is How you Spell Tonight

Run Time: 37:41
Release Date: June 25, 2021
Record label: Story Highway Records