Allan Rayman's new five-song EP introduces a grungy new sound
Release date: November 10th, 2017
2017 has been a big year for Allen Rayman. The Toronto based up-and-comer started the year off with the release of his full-length sophomore album, Roadhouse 01, which featured a darker sound compared to his past work. Over the summer, Rayman toured very successfully, with tour dates at major festivals including Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits. He released a live album, Unplugged at CBC, demonstrating his artistic prowess and humble showmanship – engaging the audience as well as the listener while maintaining a cautious distance. Now, as we roll into winter, Rayman releases his unique five-song EP, Courtney.
Released on Communion Records, Courtney showcases the complexity and range of Rayman’s style. Throughout the EP, he incorporates a sound different that that heard on his previous albums. His R&B style gives way to a grungier sound, fusing traditional rock guitar riffs in with hard-hitting hip-hop beats. With this, he blurs the line that has gradually divided these two genres, dancing back and forth from song to song. In “Gun,” the opening track, Rayman’s raspy vocals roar over distorted guitars while in the following song, “Word of Mouth,” his softer side emerges, carried by a soulful R&B beat. He maintains this trajectory, steady yet divided, throughout, demonstrating that he is a mystery yet to be cracked. The EP ends with the melancholy, minute and a half ballad, “A Fish Called Happy,” where he sings:
I got a good feeling maybe this could last a while
I just put two loud-mouth talking animals down
Well, I'm a fighter, I'm a killer, I'm a beast
I'm on the cross, on the cheek, I'll knock your tooth out
And I know I got a good feeling now
I've got a good feeling now
A true cry of victory that shines insight on the artist’s career, as well as the internal struggle he has confronted in order to be what he is.
After the EP was released, Allen wrote Communion Records with his footnote on the project: "My friends will kill me if I die. But I'm a good dog, they sometimes throw me a bone. Now all I want is a beer; something imported and nothing but a woman to tell me to chew with my mouth shut and smile more." Simple yet enigmatic, poetic yet oblivious, lost in the clouds yet fervently grounded, let’s see what he comes up with next.