MIRANDA LEE RICHARDS

Biography

Finding Beauty in the Beast

 

Known for her distinctive brand of enchanting psychedelic “chamber folk rock,” Miranda Lee Richards continues to evolve and mature as an artist. Her latest long-player, Existential Beast, is provocative in every sense, from the breadth of musical ambition to its politically-driven lyrics.

 

Though she first gained attention as one of The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s most well-loved vocal collaborators, Richards has always strived for and achieved more as her musical range and vision has grown, garnering consistent industry attention and a loyal fan base along the way. There is an enduring ethereal shimmer to everything she does, but there has always been a more universal poetic and sonic depth as well, something that’s more apparent than ever on her new work.

 

Existential Beast’s psychological nuance and cultural exploration covers timely and important new ground; in many ways, her upbringing and bohemian background bred her and led her to this current musical moment, inspiring her eclectic and expressive art just when the music world – and the world in general – needs it the most.

 

Richards grew up in San Francisco, the daughter of two underground comics revolutionaries, Ted and Terre Richards. Her father created the infamous satirical strip, The Forty Year Old Hippie, while her mother was one of the founding editors and contributors of Wimmen’s Comix in the 1970s. Richards sang in school choir, but didn’t consider playing music professionally until a chance meeting Kirk Hammett of Metallica, who taught her how to play Mazzy Star songs on guitar. From that moment on, Richards knew what is was she wanted to do in life: “As an impressionable eighteen year old, Kirk made playing in a rock n’ roll band seem rather glamorous -- little did I know at the time that his kind of success occurred for less than one percent of all musicians! And Hope Sandoval was someone I could really identify with as an aspiring young female singer and songwriter.”

 

Miranda Lee Richards’ first demo was recorded in Hammett’s basement studio, which was where the-then manager of The Brian Jonestown Massacre passed it along to Anton Newcombe. Collaborations followed and Richards appeared on the band’s Give It Back, Strung Out in Heaven, and Bringing it All Back Home Again LP’s.

 

By the late-'90s, all band members, including Miranda, had made the move to Los Angeles. Filming of the seminal rock documentary DIG!, about the Dandy Warhols’ tempestuous parallel relationship with Newcombe and his infamous psych band began soon after. Richards memorably appears in the film, reiterating at one point an innocent hikers question: “Excuse me miss, is this a cult or a photo shoot?”

 

After moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Richards played clubs and open mics, while navigating a fairly successful run as a junior model. A mutual friend introduced her to producer/musician Rick Parker (BRMC, The Von Bondies, and Lord Huron, to name a few), and the pairing proved successful both creatively and personally. She was signed to Virgin Records based on the demos they made together, and released her debut The Herethereafter in 2001, joining a stellar roster during the label’s hit-making heyday, and garnering critical acclaim, as well as a top five song in Japan.

 

Following a non-self imposed hiatus after parting ways with Virgin, the songstress persevered, and in 2009 released her critically acclaimed sophomore effort, Light of X on Nettwerk Records. KCRW and the BBC jumped on board to support the album, and dates on the 2010 Lilith Fair tour followed. She appeared as the face of the “Nine West Vintage America Voices” campaign, and procured many prominent film and TV placements.

 

A few years later, her independent release "The Reach" enjoyed some time in the cinematic spotlight, and she was also asked to write an original song (“Hero of the Silent War”), for the 2014 Hornet’s Nest soundtrack where Stevie Nicks was also a contributor. 2014 also saw the release of the Apple Bonkers LP by Joel Gion of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, where she sang duet on the haunting track “Change My Mind”.

 

Richards’ third full-length studio album Echoes of the Dreamtime (2016) began a relationship with British independent label Invisible Hands Music, its bluesy cosmic textures, beautiful portraiture cover art and thoughtful subject matter solidifying her song craft as both spellbinding and substantial. Mojo gave the album four stars and Uncut 8/10. Echoes Radio voted the album #2 of 2016, and Piccadilly Records #8 of the top 100 releases of the year. Two U.S. tours with the Dandy Warhols and U.K. dates followed.

 

In 2017, Richards has delivered what is arguably her most impressive album to date. The tapestry of genres, moods and thoughts makes for a deeply orchestrated, politically and spiritually-themed album that reflects the issues of our time while finding beauty in chaos, hope in hardship, and transcendence in self. Of Existential Beast, Richards states:

 

“It is a political album to the core, examining the issues of our time, but with an intent of tackling these difficult and sometimes taboo subjects in a poetic and heartfelt manner. The title is also a mash-up of terms, referencing the existential crisis that has in turn arisen. In essence, we are all still working with animal urges of fear, competition, survival, sexuality, which are deep-seated and manifesting in varying ways and degrees for different individuals, depending on where they’re at. A more endearing outlook may be to see this as an assignment working with the inner child, who at times can behave like a wild beast. But like it or not, these tendencies have been revealed, within our leaders, our countries, and ourselves; it is indeed a pivotal and transformational time and there is much work to be done.”

 

Miranda Lee Richards has collaborated in the studio with Tricky, Tim Burgess (Charlatans), Neil Halstead (Mojave Three), Tyler Hilton, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Joel Gion (BJM), Matt Hollywood (BJM), Josh Kelly, Joe Firstman, Harper Simon, The Quarter After, The Lovetones, and GospelbeacH (Beachwood Sparks), among many others. In addition to The Dandy Warhols, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Neil Halstead, she has performed live or opened shows for The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Hounds Below (Von Bondies), Tim Finn (Crowded House) Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Beachwood Sparks, Bridgette St. John, Nikka Costa, Susan Vega, Tift Merritt, Grant Lee Philips, The Black Angels, Sam Amidon, Turin Brakes, Juliana Hatfield, and Albert Hammond.

 

Existential Beast will be released worldwide, June 16 on Invisible Hands Music.

 

 

DISCOGRAPHY

1997 - The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Give It Back LP - lead vocals/lyrics on "You Better Love Me Before I Am Gone"

 

1998 - The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Strung Out in Heaven LP - backing vocals, flute

 

1999 - Brian Jonestown Massacre - Bringing It All Back Home Again LP - lead vocals/lyrics/composition on original song "Reign On"

 

2001 - Solo - The Herethereafter LP - lead vocal/lyrics/composition

 

2003 - Tim Burgess - backing vocals on "I Believe"

 

2003 - The Shore - The Shore EP - backing vocals

 

2003 - Joe Firstman - The War of Women LP - backing vocals, vocal duet

 

2005 - The Quarter After - The Quarter After LP - backing vocals

 

2007 - Solo - Vinyl 7" Life Boat Single - lead vocals/lyrics/composition of original song "Life Boat"

 

2008 - Solo - Early November EP -  lead vocals/lyrics/composition

 

2008 - The Quarter After - Changes Near LP - backing vocals

 

2008 - Meow Meow - Meow Meow LP - backing vocals

 

2009 - Solo - Light of X LP - lead vocals/lyrics/composition

 

2010 - Delerium - Voice: An Acoustic Collection - lead vocals/lyrics on "Send Me an Angel"

 

2010 - The Lovetones - Lost LP - backing vocals on "Coming Home"

 

2013 - Violet Vision - Silence of the Birds single - lead vocals/lyrics on "Silence of the Birds"

 

2014 - Joel Gion and the Primary Colours - Apple Bonkers LP - vocal duet on "Change My Mind"

 

2016 - Solo - Echoes of the Dreamtime LP

 

2017 - GospelbeacH - Another Summer of Love LP - backing vocals (June 16 2017)

 

2017 - Solo - Existential Beast LP (June 16 2017)

FILM & TV

MIRANDA LEE RICHARDS COMPLETE FILM/TV PLACEMENT HISTORY

 

 

  • "Alchemy" (Black Fawn) - Jungeltown espisode 13, Viceland
  • "Beauty Queen" (The Herethereafter) – Alias, “Parity” episode, ABC
  • "Beauty Queen" (The Herethereafter) – Providence, “Invisible Man” episode, NBC
  • "Beauty Queen" (The Herethereafter) – Wasteland, “Defining Moments” episode, ABC
  • "Beauty Queen" (The Herethereafter) – Luckytown Blues (film), A Plus Entertainment
  • "Beauty Queen" (The Herethereafter) – Party of Five, FOX
  • "Breathless" (Light of X) – What About Brian, “What About Finding Your Place” episode, ABC
  • "Breathless" (Light of X), Private Practice, “Yours, Mine, and Ours” episode, ABC
  • "Breathless" (Light of X) Switched at Birth, “Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time” episode, ABC Family
  • "Breathless" (Light of X), Underemployed pilot, MTV
  • "Breathless" (Light of X) Make It or Break It, “Sunday Bloody Sasha Sunday” episode, ABC Family
  • "Breathless" (Light of X) – Ghost Whisperer, “Cat’s Claw” episode, CBS
  • "Breathless" (Light of X) – What About Brian, “What About Finding You” episode, ABC
  • "Beautiful Day" (Adam soundtrack) – Adam (film), Fox Searchlight Pictures
  • "Beautiful Day" (Adam soundtrack) – Plane Jane, The CW
  • "Beautiful Day" (Adam soundtrack) – Field of Vision (TV movie, NBC)
  • "The Beginner" (The Herethereafter) - Jack and Jill, “Chivas and Lies” episode, The WB
  • "The Beginner" (The Herethereafter) – Suspect Zero (film), Paramount Pictures
  • "The Beginner" (The Herethereafter) – All the Real Girls (film), Sony Pictures Classics
  • "The Beginner" (The Herethereafter) – Roswell, “Secrets and Lies” episode, 20th Century Fox Television
  • "The Beginner" (The Herethereafter) – Alias, “Parity” epsisode, ABC
  • "The Beginner" (The Herethereafter) – Education of Max Bickford, “Hearts and Minds” episode, CBS
  • "Crazy" (MLR catalogue) – The Carrie Diaries, “A First Time for Everything” episode, The CW
  • "Discover It" (MLR catalogue) – Tru Calling DVD, Fox Searchlight
  • "Discover It"  (MLR catalogue) – Without a Trace, “Without You” episode, CBS
  • "Higher" (MLR catalogue) - Gossip Girl, “It’s a Wonderful Lie” episode, The CW
  • "Early November" (Light of X) – Life Unexpected, “Home Inspected” episode, The CW
  • "Early November" (Light of X) – The Real World DC, episode 2312, MTV
  • "Early November" (Light of X) – RW & Co, commercial
  • "Ella" (The Herethereafter) – Felicity, “Ben Was Here” episode,  Japan
  • "Fabulous" (MLR catalogue) – Big Rich Texas, “Brat Attack”, Style Network
  • "Fabulous" (MLR catalogue) – E! Network Promo Spot
  • "Fabulous" (MLR catalogue) – The Fashionista Diaries, “The Party’s Over” & "Survival of the Fittest” episodes, SOAPnet (ABC online)
  • "Fabulous" (MLR catalogue) – Beyond the Break, “Party Wave”, The N Network
  • "Fabulous" (MLR catalogue) – Beyond the Break, “Wing Chicks”, The N Network
  • "Follow Your Dreams" (MLR catalogue) – Three Moons Over Milford , “Goodnight Moon” episode, ABC Family
  • "Follow Your Dreams" (MLR catalogue) – Summerland, “Sledgehammer” episode, WB
  • "Follow Your Dreams" (MLR catalogue) – Beyond the Break, “Charging It” episode, The N Network
  • "Follow Your Dreams" (MLR catalogue) – Mystery Girl, ABC Family
  • "Follow Your Dreams" (MLR catalogue) – Working Miracles (Healing Hands TV Movie), Hallmark Channel
  • "Forever" (MLR catalogue) – Ghost Whisperer, episode 202, CBS
  • "Forever" (MLR catalogue) – Brothers and Sisters, “S3X” episode, ABC
  • "Forever [Not Gonna’ Wait]" (MLR catalogue) – Smallville, “Spirit” episode, The WB
  • "Forever (MLR catalogue)" – Ghost Whisperer, “Love Still Won’t Die” episode, CBS
  • "Fredonia (Early November EP)" – Numb3rs, “All’s Fair” episode, CBS
  • "Fredonia (Early November EP)" – Numb3rs, “Two Daughters” episode, CBS
  • "Golden Gate (Existential Beast)" – Jungeltown, episode 106, Viceland TV 
  • "Here By the Window (Light of X)" – Ghost Whisperer, “Dead Man’s Ridge” episode, CBS
  • "Here By the Window (Light of X)" – Ghost Whisperer, “Demon Child” episode, CBS
  • "Here By the Window (Instrumental version)" – Life of Brian, “Fifth Wheel” episode, MTV
  • "Here By the Window (Instrumental version)" – Las Vegas, “The High Price of Gas” episode, NBC
  • "Here By the Window (Instrumental version)" – Saving Grace, “Tacos, Tulips, Ducks, and Spice”, episode, TNT
  • "Hero of the Silent War" (The Hornet's Nest soundtrack) – The Hornet's Nest (film), Highroad Media
  • "Hidden Treasure" (Light of X) – Chicago 8 (film)
  • "Hideaway" (Light of X) – Las Vegas DVD, Universal Studios
  • "Indecision" (MLR catalogue) – Providence, “You Can’t Hurry Love” episode, NBC
  • "The Landscape" (The Herethereafter) – One Tree Hill, “The Worst Day Since Yesteryear” episode, WB
  • "Last Solstice of the 70s" (The Herethereafter) – Felicity, “Ben Was Here” episode, WBL
  • "Life Boat" (Light of X)  – Life of Ryan, “Fifth Wheel” episode, MTV
  • "Life Boat" (Light of X)  – Bones, “The Cinderella in the Cardboard Box” episode, FOX
  • "The Long Goodbye" (The Herethereafter) – Felicity, “Ben Was Here” episode, Japan
  • "The Long Goodbye" (The Herethereafter) – Numb3rs, “Two Daughters” episode, CBS
  • "The Long Goodbye" (The Herethereafter) – Numb3rs, “All’s Fair” episode, CBS
  • "The Long Goodbye" (The Herethereafter) – High School Reunion, “Welcome Back Wolves” episode, WB
  • "Little Honey" (MLR catalogue) – Once Upon A Time, “Lacey” episode, ABC
  • "Mirror at the End" (Light of X) – Ghost Whisperer, “Curse of the Ninth” episode, CBS
  • "Over My Head" (MLR catalogue) – Ghost Whisperer, “Speed Demon” episode, CBS
  • "Over My Head" (MLR catalogue) – Working Miracles (Healing Hands  TV Movie), The Hallmark Channel
  • "The Reach" (The Reach single) – Beauty and the Beast, “Partners in Crime”, The CW
  • "The Reach" (The Reach single) – Army Wives, “Centennial” episode, Lifetime
  • "The Reach" (The Reach single) – Burn Notice, “Last Rites” episode, USA Network
  • "The Reach" (The Reach single) – Switched at Birth, “Ecce Mono” episode, ABC Family
  • "The Reach" (The Reach single) – Jungeltown, episode 109, Viceland TV
  • "The Wildwood" (Existential Beast) – Jungeltown, episode 106, Viceland TV 
  • "Right Now" (The Herethereafter) – Felicity, “Ben Was Here” episode, Japan
  • "Right Now" (The Herethereafter) – Roswell, “Secrets and Lies” episode, The WB
  • "Savorin’ Your Smile" (Light of X) – “The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons”, MTV
  • "Vagabond Angel" – (Down To You soundtrack) Three Moons Over Milford, “Confessions of a Dangerous Moon” episode, ABC Family
  • "Vagabond Angel" (Down To You soundtrack) – One Tree Hill, “Worst Day Since Yesteryear”, The WB
  • "Vagabond Angel" (Down To You soundtrack) – One Tree Hill, “Worst Day Since Yesteryear”, The WB
  • "Vagabond Angel" – Down To You (film), Miramax
  • "Vagabond Angel" – Sam The Man (film), IFC Films
  • "Vagabond Angel" (Light of X soundtrack) – Wasteland, “Double Date” episode, ABC
  • "Vagabond Angel"  (Down To You soundtrack) – Party Of Five, “Otherwise Engaged” episode, FOX
  • "Vagabond Angel" (Down To You soundtrack) – Teen Mom, “A Little Help” episode, MTV
  • "Vagabond Angel" (Down To You soundtrack) - Unhitched, “Pole Dancing Toddler” episode, FOX
  • "Vagabond Angel" (Down To You soundtrack) - Outlaw, “Curtis Farwell” episode, NBC
  • "You Fit My Style" (MLR catalogue) – Elevator Girls, (TV movie), Hallmark Channel
  • "You Fit My Style" (MLR catalogue) – Fashionista Diaries, “Playing With the Boys” episode, SOAPnet
  • "Worth" (MLR catalogue) – Pepper Dennis, “Dennis, Bulgari, Big Losers” episode, WB
  • "Worth" (MLR catalogue) – Numb3rs– “All is Fair” episode, CBS
  • "Worth" (MLR catalogue) – Beyond The Break, “Wing Chicks”, The N Network
  • "Worth" (MLR catalogue) – Saving Grace, “Family Reunion” episode, TNT

 

 

ALL MATERIAL © 2016 MIRANDA LEE RICHARDS