Scottish alt-rock stalwarts Mogwai are releasing their new album As The Love Continues next month, and today have shared a second single from it called “Ritchie Sacramento”. Band leader Stuart Braithwaite explains:

“Ritchie Sacramento’s title came from a misunderstanding a friend of ours had about how to say Ryuichi Sakamoto. The lyrics were inspired by a story Bob Nastanovich shared about his friend and bandmate David Berman who proclaimed “Rise Crystal Spear” as he threw a shovel at a sports car. The song is dedicated to all the musician friends we’ve lost over the years.”

Considering that the vast majority of Mogwai’s extensive output has been instrumental, it can still be a surprise to hear them doing a vocal-led cut like “Ritchie Sacramento” – but then again, when it works this beautifully, there can be no complaints. Their trademark melange of guitar tones are still present, and while they may play as background to the vocal, they lift “Ritchie Sacramento” into a place of unabashed beauty, where this tale of paying tribute and looking back on past companionship really flourishes. The tones seem to be burning and combusting in a gentle flourish, like the brief but captivating moments of a sunset, just before it dips under the horizon.

The video for “Richie Sacramento” was created within the Unreal Games Engine by director Sam Wiehl. Watch it below.

Mogwai’s new album As The Love Continues comes out on February 19 through Rock Action. You can find them on Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.