Allan Rayman – 13
A lot of my life is spent listening to (new) music by bands and acts I’ve never heard of. I listen to each track or album in the hope that it’ll be the best song I’ve ever heard, that the artist or band will become a big part of my life, or at the very least I’ll have something positive to say at the end.
But every now and then something comes along and knocks you sideways. Something you simply aren’t prepared for.
Allan Rayman’s voice is one of those things. It is, quite simply, stupendous.
His smoky soul voice is rich, pure, fragile and honest – often all in the same note. In 13 his rasping delivery of the opening verse is formidable; ably-supported by the 80s influenced electronic drums and pulsing bass, it feels like a melodic army has begun its powerful first incursion, and your brain is the target.
But it’s the quieter moments that leave me breathless; in 13 he drops his voice and almost whispers some of his hoarse, sorrowful judgements.
13 is an r’n’b inflected track that could easily have felt at home in Prince’s mid-80’s era work. For anyone who has seen a relationship turn sour – where two sides can no longer see each other without the filter of anger clouding their judgement – it’ll feel familiar. “And there you go again, acting like it’s all about you. Big shot, one take, oh you, yes you.”
Allan Rayman – who is an international man of mystery – is due to release his second album, Roadhouse 01, on February 24th. He’s also playing a London gig on March 2nd, which I’m very much looking forward to attending.