The year anniversary of the second album, “Someone Out There”, by art-pop artist Rae Morris was yesterday. Time sure flies by when you’re listening to great music. When Rae first came on the scene playing shows around Blackpool in 2011, it wasn’t long after that she was offered recording contracts at Atlantic Records & Universal. She went with Atlantic because they wanted her to purely just be her and to take things slow. Releasing 6 EP’s before her debut album ‘Unguarded’, it wasn’t until songs such as ‘Closer‘ and the title track ‘Unguarded’ really showed her range and insecurities. Now with Someone Out There being out for a whole year, it’s about time I sit down and review it…
“Push Me To Limit” was described from Rae that it’s the connection between the first and second album. Heavenly vocals power through the track with pure emotion. Calming and reassuring, the track feathers the atmosphere with a warming organ. Stripping things back, this is Rae at her most vulnerable but my goodness does it show her versatility from the upbeat pop tracks that are to come.
See what did I tell you? Upbeat pop ‘Reborn’ has a wonderful electronic arrangement. Ironically, the song is about having a fresh start and awakening as this new person. Fantastic subject to feature on a second album, showcasing to fans that she really will just keep reinventing her music as she finds herself more and more. The production is really something special on this album. Cinematic kind of level that you’d get in a blockbuster movie – it grabs you in with every bite.
Most likely my favourite track on the album has to be playful “Atletico (The Only One)”, because of the brilliant rhythmical vocals. Kate Bush inspired vocals on “you are the only one” takes us back to tracks such as Babooshka with flexible singing that intervenes between each instrument. It’s like going to the gym and keeping a balance of everything all at once while your main fixture is your breathing. Rae breathes her singing through a rhythm that’s infectious and memorable.
Daring to take risks and jumping straight into a task can be hard when you’ve got a lack of motivation. As for Rae, she climbs straight into “Do It” and gets the point across straight away. The euphoric electronic pop track has a somewhat latin-esque beat in the background making it feel a lot more experimental based than a normal pop track in the charts right now.
Baby-like vocals begin the next song with vulnerability, before Rae’s beautiful vocals fully enter. Rae has stated that she wrote the song while in a rather rainy LA. Melodies came roaring into her head and she ended up writing a story filled with sympathy for a girl who is heartbroken and doesn’t want to “Wait In The Rain” any longer. The song portrays insecurities and feeling like ‘giving up’, but crosses it with a comforting movement through the uplifting arrangement of ‘don’t give up, you’ve completely got this.”
Intimate and right under your nose is “Lower the Tone.” A subtle nod to acts such as Mumford & Sons, Tom Walker & Bon Iver, if this track was ripped apart to it’s bones, it would be a folk tale. Electronica blankets the arrangement to create Rae’s chosen songwriting style. The vocoder adds a new element to what would be a bare track. Towards the end, Rae’s vocals play an african style rhythm that makes the song go down a completely different avenue. There’s many possibilities with this track and Rae definitely picked the right direction.
Feeling invisible and anxious around people who you’re meant to work with can be one of the trickiest situation’s to be in. Rae experienced a writing session with two people who pretty much ignored her views the whole time. Rae went into the studio the next day and ended up writing “Physical Form.” Just shows that songwriters, when we have negative experiences, we can always flip that around and write a killer song from it. Flames are thrown around this track of aggression and sadness. I must say, the groove’s from the ‘drums’ are the adrenaline and iconic part of the whole song.
Trying something for the first time and hoping it works is the subject for “Dip My Toe.” Rae has worked with quite a lot of songwriters and producers in her time, but I really love how that with this album she worked with a number of friends by her side – making it far more personal. The colourful track reminds me of Maggie Rogers, but Rae came first. Maggie definitely is the American version of Rae but she has more of a soulful voice. Rae’s voice is so different and unique. Comparing to other singers at the moment, she has real charisma and nothing forced.
Title track, “Someone Out There” is a ‘hold up your lighter’ moment of the album. The real tear-jerker is a stand out track for the album. A more subtle stripped back approach feels completely different to all the other arrangements, showing more versatility. It’ll make you sing and feel. I’m currently writing this and singing the song at the top of my lungs (sorry Mom), and you know why? Because I’ve connected with the track. That is exactly what Rae wanted, connection and for her fans to relate.
“Rose Garden” is about the frustration in not being able to physically help someone in need. Specifically, Rae dedicated “Rose Garden” to a friend who lives with a long-term illness and it was about Rae’s desire to help make things better. It has to be the most Björk inspired track of the album. The synth powered instrumentation and complex vocals create a musical journey of despair. Final track “Dancing With Character”, Rae said the song was inspired by “an old couple that I knew from Blackpool”, Hazel and George, “and they would go dancing together every day in the workingmen’s clubs”. A personal ending to a wonderfully crafted album.
Favourite Tracks: Push Me To The Limit, Atletico (The Only One), Do It, Wait for the Rain, Lower the Tone, Someone Out There, Rose Garden, Dancing With Character