welcome to wollenberg records,
home of richard cortez, singer/songwriter
“Nobody’s Baby,” the second single off Richard Cortez’ upcoming EP, The Welder & The Lark, marries subtle doo-wop nuances and a lone guitar with Cortez’ warm, crooning baritone voice. A humble, earthy percussion section drives the rhythm on this moody groove using sampled, natural sounds generated by the guitar itself and a classic finger snap.
With timeless lyrics like, “I don’t wanna be nobody’s ‘honey,’ but you drink my whiskey, spend my money, and when my love’s run out? You’re no where to be found,” Cortez’ draws inspiration from classic torch songs—originally sung by women whose lovers have “done them wrong.”
With swirling, layered background vocals by fellow queer singer-songwriter, Boy Radio, and an earnest vocal performance by Cortez, “Nodody’s Baby” is a genuine attempt to merge openly gay lyrical content with a genre of music written before the gay rights movement began.
“dope sick,” the first single off richard cortez’ upcoming ep, the welder & the lark, continues the narrative of cortez’ heartfelt and deeply personal songwriting efforts spanning nearly 15 years. the song, driven by intricate acoustic guitar finger-picking and a purposeful kick drum, is adorned with spacious electric guitar swells and richard’s raspy, velvety voice. both in lyrical content and delivery, the song functions from a place of heartache and despair, amplified by cortez’ understanding of lyric interpretation, vocal dynamics, and unique performative nuance. drawing the jarring comparison of love and heroin addiction, “dope sick” is a raw, intoxicating ballad of unrequited love straight to the vein that will leave you wondering, “is it really better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?”
Summer Sale Peaches
Book of Poetry
Now Available as Digital Download!
summer sale peaches is the first literary effort made by longtime singer-songwriter, richard cortez. the 22 poems, varying in size from two lines to two pages, are accompanied by the macabre and haunting illustrations of brooklyn artist kevin william reed, warm and dream-like portraiture of richard taken by photographer cole witter, and a blackened copper bookmark handcrafted by sculptor sam waxman.
without the intention of writing a book, cortez wrote the whole of summer sale peaches in a matter of months, mostly on his phone, in transit. raw and transparent, the excruciating echo of richard’s violent and sexualized childhood rinses through these lines like blood in water. with themes of abandonment, child abuse, and heartbreak paired with new york city-specific imagery, summer sale peaches gives voice to what it feels like to be alone in a city of 8 million people.
richard cortez discography
Known for setting up DIY recording studios in unexpected spaces, on Lover, We Lost the War., Richard Cortez doesn’t disappoint. In an improvised space in an industrial warehouse, Cortez recorded five new haunting songs after hours. Playing all the instruments on the project, he ambitiously assumed the roles of songwriter, singer, producer and recording engineer simultaneously. The EP, adorned with five-part harmonies, swells of electric guitar and sparse piano accents, is led by Cortez’ rich baritone voice and strong songwriting skill.