“Ripe For Anarchy is a quote from Sandra Cisneros’s poem “One Last Poem For Richard”. It perfectly summed up the songs for me. The album is about living in the moment, shedding neurosis, and the desire to discard the general societal malaise we’ve been roped into.”
Corey Cunningham’s first album as Business Of Dreams was similarly cathartic. When his father passed away, it brought Cunningham back to his home state of Tennessee where he was forced to confront a past he had run away from at the age of 19. “I’d gotten on a bus and randomly hopped off in the Bay Area. I lived in motels and looked for any work I could find. The first person I met was a guy in punk bands named Phil Benson who I ended up starting a bunch of bands with.” The duo would end up writing music together and playing in bands for the next 17 years, including indie-poppers Magic Bullets and punks Terry Malts, who later released three albums with Slumberland Records.
The exercise of making music to cope with loss proved to be much more when Bandcamp and Raven Sings The Blues put the eponymous debut in their year-end lists in 2017. Soon the live version of Business Of Dreams took shape as Cunningham opened for Rogue Wave on a national tour and played scores of local shows with Frankie Rose, Real Estate, and Cold Beat.
With Ripe For Anarchy, Cunningham has honed the songwriting with an eye towards regret, existence, and the need to push on. “When I’m gone you won’t cry for me, focus on the moment, be free”, he sings on the opening track “Chasing That Feeling”. And that’s the mantra here: it’s time to let go.
But Ripe For Anarchy is a through-and-through ode to indie pop, in the historic definition of the genre. “My Old Town” and “N.R.E.A.M.” could be album cuts on a Grant McLennan solo album, “Don’t Let Our Time Expire” and “Naive Scenes” could be The Smiths, the Sparklehorse cover “The Hatchet Song” bears an uncanny resemblance to Australian pop pioneers Even As We Speak, and “I Feel Dread” has the unmistakable earmarks of The Field Mice.
The deeper influences, however, are far more abstract. “I got really into FM keyboards and sampling for this album. The idea of making an album with indie pop songs filtered through late 80’s studio production was intriguing”, Cunningham says. “I was listening to a lot of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Comsat Angels”.
And while he may be more noted for playing guitar in chainsaw-pop stalwarts Terry Malts, New Zealand-worshipping Smokescreens, and Merge Record’s garage rock hero Mike Krol’s backing band, Cunningham is most at home making soft sounds extolling the wounded and dour. “I think music is the most personal of mediums. You can work and listen, you can run and listen, you can drive and listen. And I think I’m a misfit. If I can make the most personal music for misfits, then I’m satisfied”.