Guitarist Richie Smith and writer Bailey Merlin collaborated on the jazz spoken world album, "Bug Eyes."

I don’t often get experimental jazz spoken word records floated my way, but when I do, I get excited that it’s floated to me by former Pickpockets guitarist, Richie Smith.

Richie has long been a guitarist I’ve admired because of his tenacious and curious approach to the instrument. He doesn’t lock himself in to any one mode of playing and is infinitely tinkering with the sonic bounds of his guitar. With this project, he laid down the electric (and eclectic) mood for the written (and spoken) prose of his partner in crime (and life), Bailey Merlin.

To further some mystique and creative interest, there’s a deluxe packaging of the record that includes candles for a scented undertone to the entire work of art. Bounds successfully shattered from myriad vantage point. In short, it’s quite intriguing and ought to be experienced.

EDGE caught up with both of them to discuss the ambitiously inspired venture. 

EDGE: Let’s talk about “Bug Eyes.” What were the goals for this album? What excites you about its existence?

Bailey: I’m not sure if I had any goals or expectations going into this album. What Bug Eyes became is far more than the sum of its parts. My story complemented by Richie’s incredibly empathic playing stunned me when I heard the final product. The album is a beautiful, relaxing, heartwarming
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