It’s taken me a little while to get around to reviewing the debut album from London duo Rainer. Entitled Water and released in the middle of May, it’s 10 songs of a beguiling nature.
Rainer are Rebekah Raa and Nic Neil (who also goes by the name of Casually Here when assuming production duties); they came together in 2012, released an EP called Hope/Satin/Glass/Dreams in 2013, and hid away in 2014 to record this.
Overall Water is synth driven with touches throughout of pop, experimentation and R&B. Neil provides exceptional production and instrumentation by keeping it all held together. One could describe it as water tight…
Themeatically the stall is set by the eponymous first track. Raa says that she writes about love foe the most part, and it is the predominant subject of the album. From the line “Another year I barely remember” to the almost euphoric steel drums of the chorus, Water takes us in four minutes the rollercoaster of a relationship.
The first song that delves majorly into realms of experimentation is Dear. The message about the strength oflove is about the only conventional thing here. The time signature is definitely NOT 4/4, and the intermittent electronic melody is pushed and pulled along by stuttering, stacato beats.
The centrepiece, for me at least, is Trouble. As pop, it works as a song that grows, and crescendoes with a chorus that could lift a roof. As a message about blindness that comes with love, it’s a cautionary tale. It’s a vessel that allows Raa’s sultry vocals and Neil’s skill to shine through.
Whether one could determine the health of the electronic pop scene of the UK from Water, I couldn’t say. But if others follow the example of Rainer and allow their imaginations to run free, then one could say that Water is a birth.