Single Reviews: 16 May 2023: The Rabbitts, YuMe, Scott William Urquhart and Constant Follower, Raays, icoro

Photo by Sasha Matveeva


The Rabbitts - Sunrise

indie folk

Norvician duo The Rabbitts have added a heavy-handed serving of the fantastical to their otherwise 60s psychedelic folk stylings on "Sunrise", a track taken from their second album, Love. The sweet fingerpicking and haunted melodies are complemented by folksy-cum-mediaeval mandolin, birdsong, and cabaretesque vocal performances, inspiring a childlike sense of wonder among its more adult contemporary leanings. This is fitting for a song about "new life forming" and the power of change occasioned by the rising of the sun. Despite being cloudily pensive, there's an overarching vibrancy rooted in music's ability to induce psychedelic sensations through woozy and dreamy composition and playing. 

YuMe - Chaos


Dutch composer YuMe operates on a solo piano style that is as much cinematic as it is traditional. One can hear echoes of Yann Tiersen's Amélie, or Michael Nyman's The Piano, as much as they can the many solo piano artists vying for playlist placements in the lucrative "chill" niche. The producer, whose stage name is a translation of 'happy' from Japanese, and whose real name is not revealed, wears his heart on his sleeve despite being a self-confessed hermit. While a tad on the pastiche side, it has a subtly and silence to it that perfectly serves the modus operandi of solo piano composition; inspiring quiet contemplation, relaxation, and in its familiarly quilted way, yarning stories as old as time.

Scott William Urquhart and Constant Follower  - Space Between Stars

experimental folk

Like its namesake, "Space Between Stars" by Constant Follower and Scott William Urquhart occupies a curious place in the universe; a mysterious and potentially revelatory realm prime for exploration. Such mysticism is conjured in the hanging melody on what is essentially a solo acoustic guitar song dressed up in textures of cosmic signals and thoughtful vocal word samples (
"what is the truth?"). From the collaborative album Even Days Dissolve, this track settles nicely before bubbling up and again. It's a sound testament to off-beat collaborations and the trust necessary for their peculiar, multi-visioned charm to work.

Raays - Beneath Your Surface

experimental electronica

LA producer Raays unfurls a spacious and disparately assembled blanket of texture on the recent single "Beneath Your Surface". Eschewing melodic evolution for rhythmic anomalies peppered with nature sounds, Raays, the pseudonym of one Aaron Rays, deals in glitchy, highly transient musical phrases held together by a glue of sustained, lost-in-the-ethereal, keys. This single is released via the independent LA label, Leaving Records, and is a transportive, purposefully innocuous, addition to any listening schedule. 

icoro - Last Parade II

experimental electronic

Swedish jazz experimenter Anders Nästén hangs dulcet and innocent melodies around gnarly distortions and manic live drums courtesy of Per Lindberg on "Last Parade II", a track taken from the album "Parade", a years-long effort in which attention to detail was given to these contrastingly carefree compositions. The cutesy accordion melodies play out like carnival music under the haunted house rhythms and reverberations that permeate this inventive track. It's not hard to imagine Nästén writing melodies to the iridescent clouds of a Scandinavian sunset, then layering them with more searching intentions during a darker winter.  The result is a curious oddity that can unsuspectingly add shades of colour to your day.