tue 27/02/2024

CD: Rayographs - Rayographs | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Rayographs - Rayographs

CD: Rayographs - Rayographs

Stunning debut album that marries psychedelia with a compelling tension

'Rayographs': The somewhat cross offspring of ballroom-era Jefferson Airplane

The self-titled debut album by London-based three-piece Rayographs is one of those surprises you hope for - a virtually unknown band referencing little that’s going on right now and capturing it in long-playing form with panache and a compelling vision. On this evidence, Rayographs are the spooked-out, somewhat cross third-generation offspring of early ballroom-era Jefferson Airplane.

Opening cut “In Her Light” lays it out. The atmosphere is psychedelic, the mood vexed, the rhythm taught, the whole ragged. Throbbing out from under an oil-wheel light show, Rayographs would have inspired plenty of bum trips. Much of this album will invite comparison to PJ Harvey, The Breeders or maybe Patti Smith, but Rayographs obviously draw from earlier eras too. As well as the tetchiness that Grace Slick brought to the Airplane, Rayographs also broadly hint at largely forgotten West Coast Sixties band Neighb'rhood Childr'n and Danish outfit The Savage Rose.

After a CDR (made as The Monday Club - they renamed themselves after learning that handle’s political connotations) and two singles, Astrid Steehouder, Jessamine Tierney and Amy Hurst are carving an idiosyncratic path. None of the 10 previously aired songs appear on Rayographs. Their sound is bedded with shuffling drums and a bouncing, pulsing bass that bubbles under a reverb guitar that’s about texture rather than fill. There is space here. The guitar stabs and whooping voices on “Providence, Rhode Island” are mood altering, about atmosphere, not melody. The door chime and flute-trill-infused soundscape “Falconberg Court” actually is the sound of that bad trip. Rayographs are unreservedly recommended. Watch them closely.

Watch Rayographs’ video for “Space of the Halls”. Contains strobing

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