Though guitarist Neal Casal died over 20 months ago, his indelible mark on a wide range of musicians has not faded away. While his last project—Circles Around The Sun—has already released its final recordings with Casal (found on the band’s self-titled 2020 LP), music bearing his delicate touch continues to trickle out. This includes “The Race”, the latest single from Mojave Desert duo Starlight Cleaning Co.

Released last Thursday, “The Race” comes as the latest preview of Rachel Dean (War Children, The Hot Fudge Sunday) and Tim Paul Gray‘s (The Delusions, Charles Mansions) self-titled debut, out on May 21st via SofaBurn Records. Casal’s familiar dreamy guitar leads can be heard on several tracks throughout the album, including “The Race”.

“This record is a reflection of our life together as well as the individual paths that lead us here,” Dean said of the forthcoming album. “The struggles, uncertainty, the hopefulness and love. We hope that it resonates with others in their lives and brings us together as we all seem to deal with these common themes. We dedicate this album, in loving memory, to our dear friend Neal Casal.”

Related: Watch Neal Casal Perform “You Don’t See Me Crying” On Japanese TV In 2013 [Video]

On “The Race”, both Dean and Gray’s extensive experience in a multitude of projects shines through. As different genres coalesce into an alternative-tinged, indie-rock daydream, Casal cuts through with a signature guitar solo that adds another layer of dimension beyond lyrical comprehension.

“‘The Race’ is an account of our time spent living outside of CA, which was a step into an unfamiliar sort of ‘rat race,’” Dean said of her relationship with Gray. “While navigating a new place and situation, we struggled with our relationship, which had more or less only just begun. The song starts, ‘running with your eyes closed, deep into the wild’ – the feeling of taking a leap of faith you know will change your life for better or worse.”

Listen to “The Race”, the new single from Starlight Cleaning Co. featuring the late Neal Casal. The group’s self-titled debut is available here for pre-order.

Starlight Cleaning Co. – “The Race” (ft. Neal Casal)

[Video: The SofaBurn Channel]