When Rae Morris released her second EP, Grow, I declared it to be outstanding. She had progressed from just playing a piano, maybe with some strings, to a full-bodied production with a haunting tone that I felt was unfair to to compare to other artists because it sounded fresh. Yes, you could say “if you like such and such…” but such comparisons don’t do her talent any justice, even if you can pick out her influences.
Morris’ live performances have delivered, time and time again. My question was, could she maintain this high standard in the studio where she has, by her own admission, much less experience?
The answer to this is delivered on the From Above EP, and it is a resounding yes. The opening title track has everything you want; beautiful vocals with a unique character, a strong atmospheric piano leading the tune, with a rich production that brings in a simple but complex drum beat that sits subtly in the mix to add ambiance and lift the whole song up to a level that would make it a popular choice on anyone’s playlist.
The lyrics seem to conform to a standard rhythm, until the chorus where the syllable count increases in such away that it suddenly sounds very different from her contemporaries. This really shows off Rae’s ability to control her vocal. It’s not all about big extended notes. Singing in a odd rhythm is equally hard, if not harder.
The second track, Wait A While, is a classic Rae Morris song. Piano and vocal that twist around your ears is a melancholic dance, releasing emotions within yourself that allow you to place your own meaning on the carefully picked words. Again, her growth as a recording artist is becoming very present. Even in its simple arrangement and production, the power and belief she gets into the performance shines through and you get the same feeling from this recording that is engendered when you see her perform live.
The final recording offered on this EP is This Time. Here, Morris demonstrates just how varied her vocal range is. She hits notes effortlessly that just reach out and grab your heart. The tune rises up as it bounces along, lifting the listener.
If you are familiar with Jon and Vangelis’ I’ll Find My Way Home, you’ll understand what I mean. I am not saying This Time sounds like the opening track from The Friends of Mr Cairo but it has a very similar feel. And being as this is one of my favourite songs of all time, it shows you that I rate Rae Morris’s song writing very highly indeed.
It’s safe to say that at 19 years old this Blackpool songwriter hasn’t even come close to her full potential yet. And with products this good already, the future is something I am looking forward to indeed.
Download the EP at:
or buy the CD single here:
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