In a world teeming with identikit pop wannabes pushing the same sonic template, of would-be indie-folk troubadours and urban, musical dead ends, Rae du Soleil offers something which I haven’t encountered in far too long. Class! Whilst her contemporaries are racing around trying to out-cool, out-market, out-sell each other with music which barely stands up under scrutiny, Rae’s delicious songs are a reminder that all of those strategies count for nothing if you don’t get the basics right. And the basics in this case are as simple as starting with well-crafted songs. This album proves that she has those in no short supply.
She weaves jazz-tinges through pop sounds, folky vibes around indie cool, touches on any number of genres without fully committing to any. And it is this ability to be a sonic butterfly which sets her apart from the pack, allowing here to sample, pick and chose, flit and flutter and then move on. Take Me Back is a folk standard grooved up for the pop market, New Bones is a soulful ballad built on understatement and open hearted honesty and Serenity is a jaunty slice of acoustica which is both chiming and charming.
The world is littered with genres and most of them are meaningless. But let me offer one more, one which sums up Rae’s ability to channel classic sounds through a new mainstream sound. Roots-pop. It works for me.
Link to the album: