NEW IN TOWN
- New In Town
What I like about Rainn’s songs are that they are written with humour in mind, or they’re telling a story…
This one starts off simply. Bass, acoustic guitars, drums, electric guitar, tambourine, shakers oh and a possible mandolin??
“New in town, no familiar faces around,
So can someone show me the ropes pretty please?“
I like that.
This is the intro to the whole album, looking at the titles going forward this is a concept album so each one tells a story in one form or other… Whether it’s linear or not, we will see!
Ahh this song’s lyrics make me laugh….
“Charlie’s made it big on the TV set and I’m still cleaning toilets trying not to regret…”
This song is typical of Rain’s sense of humour and backed with summery surfer vibe this calls for some serious airplay.
The way that this song is performed, it’s just beautifully executed, there’s a cowbell – yeah I give you the nod for that one, plus maracas, and the guitars are so bluesy and 60s it just makes me laugh…
In a time where “stars” are being made via shows like Love Island and have been since the days of Big Brother this is a thinly veiled jibe at how easy it is to make it that way, compared to artists playing the long game this is a song born out of frustration.
A lot of us creatives will identify with this for sure.
Overall, this song made me chuckle just for the opening line and I am now a fan.
- How Can I Get You Out Of My Life
While this song has a bit of a happy bounce to it, it’s nothing like it lyrically, it’s an angry song… and Rainn is addressing this in the best way he can!
It sounds like he’s setting fire to a toxic relationship, this could be about drug use – how did I arrive at this?
Well, for one thing it is said that the Paul McCartney wrote “Gotta Get You Into My Life” about marijuana, so this could be a flipped around way of writing about getting out of the habit. Sucking the mood
Or it could be all about a dangerous relationship that’s causing him a lot of pain to be able to break off. One thing I like about this song though is that it changes a lot in in the almost 4 minutes running time at 1:26 it changes and slows down with some nice fills on the drums… it continues this way until 2:39 and it just jumps back up to the tempo it was before. Probably my favourite song on the album.
- I’m Her Man
I love that intro to this, it starts off as one thing then drops into a jaunty number with jangly guitars, I love the 60-70s trippy throwback on this….
This song has a real charm, and makes it one of my favourite tracks on the album, I love this:
“I am her man yeah,
I’ll do what I can yeah,
To love her,
It’s so easy with each other
So remember I might not look it but I really am her man.”
This song is…. About a house.
That’s one of the most endearing things about Rainn’s songs, he’s writing songs about things you wouldn’t think about.
I know that people like Tim Minchin have done this, and that’s confined to comedy, but this is different, again Rainn finds inspiration in different places, and that works for me.
He sings about finding love elsewhere – maybe another house, but he acknowledges that it’s his safe place. Another strong song in this album!
There’s some great guitar work on this, I LOVE the snare rolls on this as well.
- Never Ending Story
I have a bit of an attachment to this song, because when I first started my radio show for Islington Radio, this was one of the songs that I played and because of the edit I did from another song into this one, I was really proud of myself! It’s that intro coming out of a slow jam to bring things back up to speed.
The thing about this song is the chord progression, and the clever lyrics:
“I don’t recognise the guy trapped in the mirror
Stood before me,
What’s the story?
Never mind it will just bore me.”
“Living could be easy if I don’t just let life
And of course there’s got to be a catchy hook – the no’s at 1:12 are infectious!
- Big Boy Boots
Slowed down tempo now, and I reckon this song that this song is about growing up, even though you don’t think you’re ready to….
Again with the trippy sounds, the build up with bent notes that swirl around, I love the guitar work on this it’s multilayered and just reminds me of how bloody good Rainn is at writing.
The slight echo on his vocals is very cool, and the bah bah bah’s are a nice touch too. Another favourite I think.
Classic Motown back beat in the intro! This song is about self doubt…
“My soul is wrapped up in a body bag,
With cause of death unknown written on the tag,
My girlfriend says my music is rad,
So why the hell do I still feel this f—king bad?”
The track is upbeat but is still dark lyrically, you just have to unwrap the whole thing to get it.
This is even more poignant as this week marks mental health awareness and people are still not speaking up about it.
Another strong song from Rainn.
- Homeward Bound
This has such a driving rhythm, led by the drums, I love the drum playing on this album anyway, but this is a great example.
What I like about this song is that it’s the transitioning end, we are two tracks away from the end, and like I noted at the beginning, each track kind of gives a stop on each part of the journey. There is some nifty guitar playing at 0:56 which I really like, it’s the way that it accompanies Rainn’s voice and it’s done so well.
There’s an unresolved cadence that ends the song into a dream like sequence beginning at 3:14, lots of swirling synth parts I love this as it reminds me of analogue synth sounds from 70s Doctor Who, it’s a very short transition but it’s great!
- Looking Glass
Again more nifty guitar work to begin this, but it’s not for too long because at 0:35 Rainn drops a latin groove on us!
This album has so many flavours and for me this is my favourite track album because of the way it’s arrangement, just the way it flows together so well, I can bet it took some work to get to where it is in completion.
There’s harmonised whistling too, which starts at 1:56…. I really enjoyed that bit!
- Leaving Town
You could just imagine this being played over the closing credits of a Netflix film, the protagonist doffs their cap to someone in the window of a house and then walks off into the streetlit rainy night.
No pun intended.
In conclusion this song has many throwbacks and with it coming out on vinyl that really helps this project, because that warm analogue feel will make it feel as if you’ve gone back in time to an era where it’s all about the song, and everything is window dressing. Rainn is out to deliver a message and he’s done a fine job.
You can listen to/buy the album here now
Words by Del Osei-Owusu