by tom johnson
If we’re to consider the voice as much of an instrument as anything else that might go in to crafting a song then it shouldn’t be too much of a shock to hear it used in new, exploratory ways – and yet despite all of this the vocal wanderings of Bristol’s RHAIN still manages to transfix completely. New track ‘Humdrum Drivel‘ proves this emphatically, opening with an oddly-pitched, shrill cry and then expanding out across three-and-a-half minutes of skewed, piano-led pop that manages to sound like little else in the current musical climes.
There are touching points here – Kate Bush perhaps being the most pertinent – but to constantly reach for comparisons seems somewhat lazy and missing-of-the-point when something this special comes along. When she sings of her words drip-dropping from her tongue, and crick-cracking in the dirt, it conjures images of something antiquated, like old folk songs left to root and rust. Here, however, the song takes that as its bed-rock and brings the whole thing forward in to the now; this is sharp, smart pop music, delivered with a grace and singularity that singles RHAIN out as a very special talent indeed. Listen below.