Harry Rag (born Kristian Prieto Vachier) is one of the most prolific musicians in the San Juan music scene, having produced seven solo efforts and playing guitar for another veteran-led project, Alegría Rampante. Now he’s released his eighth title, Sweet Dreams, Muna Lee: an acoustic, 12-track EP full of playful melodies that take as much from classical as they do from jazz, vaudeville, and contemporary indie pop.
Listening to this record, there’s no doubt that Harry Rag is a master on the acoustic guitar, creating complex rhythms and melodies that somehow manage to sound simple and sweet. It’s this complexity that makes Sweet Dreams, Muna Lee such a calming yet intense experience. From the opening track-–the female sung, eerily bittersweet lullaby, “Good Boy!”—to the sparse but piercing strings of “Sharp Little Teeth,” Harry Rag keeps inventing, keeps one upping himself. The EP is full of methodical twists and turns, amassing a subtle narrative in the process.
Sweet Dreams, Muna Lee may seem long for an EP, but each song is no longer than four minutes-–most of them never passing the 2:30 mark—allowing for interesting sonic vignettes that mix a slew of classical and contemporary styles. Listen below.