We’re all familiar with “far out,” but what about “far in?” To Roberto Carlos Lange, otherwise known as Helado Negro, this opposition is where one must travel in order to explore one’s emotional depths and unearth buried baggage. In meditating on this concept, Lange realized, “Escape is never out there, you have to go inward,” toward resolution and result is the hypnotic and reflective Far In, Lange’s seventh full-length and first on 4AD.
The record was created once Lange and longtime partner, the visual artist Kristi Sword, were finally back home in Brooklyn after an accidental long-term stay in Marfa, TX on account of having traveled there at what wound up to be the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020. The first song written for the record, closing track “Mirror Talk,” marks this passing of time and the resulting personal transformation as Lange sings falsetto over strings, “You’ve changed,’ that’s what they’ll say, Even though they don’t know where ya been.” First single, the clubby “Gemini and Leo,” is a love letter to Sword. Lange sings, “We can move in slow motion, just watch me/We can take our time in cosmic balance,” the vision of two people dancing as if they’re the only two people on earth.
Later on in this gauzy escape from anxiety comes the standout “Telescope,” a loving missive about missing his mother and what’s left unsatisfied by video chat. Featuring guitar and support vocals by Benamin, Lange sings, “I’m thinking about why haven’t we talked this month, I’m thinking about growing older and missing you so much,” but the longing never spills over into sadness as the listener is allowed buoyancy through the beats.
The dreamy “Gemini and Leo” is finding adds at WNXP, WUNC, WYMS, KCMP and more, and Far In is out on 4AD on October 22.
Photo by Nathan Bajar