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On the eve of the release of the Castanets' sophomore album, First Light's Freeze, Raymond Raposa seemed indifferent to the media whirlwind surrounding like-minded "neo-folk" stars Devendra Banhart, Iron and Wine, and Sufjan Stevens.

"It's not my job to worry about that," Raposa said from a record store in New York City. "A lot of those folks are my friends -- the people who are making the 'big' records in that field. It's not really a concern of any of ours, which bin in the store [our music] ends up in."

Sufjan Stevens released First Light's Freeze October 11 on his Asthmatic Kitty Records. Chances are good that the album will earn critical acclaim...or at least a share of college-radio play. Raposa, a former professional surfer, has experienced fame before.

"There was a point where there was enough outside involvement via sponsorships and photo shoots and contests and things like that, that I suppose the purity of the thing I was trying to do -- not to get too sentimental about it -- was very much compromised," Raposa said. "It prompted a move to the Virgin Islands. I split and came back, dumped all of my sponsors, and didn't do another contest ever again. I think [with the Castanets] there's a point where things would probably start to get uncomfortable."

Though he resides in New York City, Raposa has found some time to surf: "I guess it's a little-known fact about New York. It might even be more secret than I should be letting on."

Raposa will return to San Diego this winter after two brief fall tours and before a spring tour opening for Cat Power.

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