Isle of Wight-based artist RHAIN has recently released her single ‘Time Traveller,’ a follow-up to ‘Solid Gold,’ ahead of a headline show at Servant Jazz Quarters on the 5th September.
And the ‘Time Traveller’ title is a sure indication of the fun within – as this a buoyant and busy track, exploring the themes of age but with a warm optimism, closely recorded vocals celebrating a stunning voice accompanied with vivid instrumentation.
“One, two, three, four, five – looking down at his hands just to check he’s alive” – the track opens with the progression of a countdown, neat rhyme and the zing of xylophone-like keys adding instant interest. The words are wielded warm with meaning; this piece of music being an intended address to RHAIN’s grandfather.
And just like the piecing together of a picture of someone, ‘Time Traveller’ turns and builds with luscious layering. The lyrical chant of the numbers keeps ascending, maracas ease in, all the while the listener receiving an increasingly resonant picture of a grandfather’s face.
This is enchantingly intimate music – but still individually meaningful – allowing us to appreciate our own capacity for close focus, the ability to enjoy the moment… like the meaningful music itself.
“Breathe out/ Breathe in” sees a slight change in a mood, perhaps partly an indication of the awareness of human mortality, the count of human breath. But the track never loses its upbeat, and although instrumentation appropriately ebbs when these lines come in, it is later lifted even higher when more dominant drums build back.
By the point of reflection released on “back in my day,” the vocals billow with power and the vowel is extended, volumizing this section of the song to an anthemic level. This highlights RHAIN’s resonant ability to vary the texture of the track and still be celebratory, melodies mixing, splitting and rising, but always well synchronised.
And as part of that satisfying synchronisation, “Breathe out/ Breathe in” returns for the closing section, this time with harmonies and more insistent melodies as the drums drive in, allowing the piece to end on a reflective, resonant jam following the tune of “back in my day.” The final moments even offer a cheeky lone splash of xylophone, highlighting ‘Time Traveller’ as a playful but poignant piece about aging, the passing of time and the sharing of experience.
RHAIN headlines London’s Servant Jazz Quarters on Wednesday 5th September – tickets are available here.