Opening with a joyful and instantly memorable piano motif on the track Riverside, ‘Tales from the Drought’ announces its intentions from the get go. Bjarke Bendtsen performing as Rainbrother has produced an album of delightful melodies, sparkling song writing and affecting sounds. The aforementioned Riverside is a complex yearning narrative build around the ebb and flow of the repeated piano motif – worthy of some serious airplay. East African Dream follows, an instrumental filled with yelps and whoops over a Midlakeish harmony again memorable and insistent with its driving rhythm.
Crow is next, a studied narrative, stark and processional but instantly accessible yet complex and nuanced. Swooping harmonies and ticklish guitar – lovely and dark with hints of Southern Gothic perhaps Willard Grant.
Juggler takes us to more alt rock territory with its simple Velvets styling and electronica embellishment. Birds Don’t Fly conjures grace and beauty through the lens of a fuzzed guitar and tabla drum. There is more than a hint of the Fleet Foxes here, possibly even early Jonathan Wilson with its West Coast pastoral vibe as it descends into chaos and then seemingly sweeps out into the redemption of the repeated title. Mesmeric.
Blue is Coldplay through a Joy Division prism – a bold assertion perhaps but have a listen; I defy any listener not to hear these sources. Breakout is a frenetic workout, Fat Eggs features some beautiful spiralling out of key guitars – perhaps some Mercury Rev here. The track then explodes into joy with some gorgeous harmonies underpinning the vocals. At once familiar and yet new.
This is a fantastic album that surely should herald massive commercial and artistic success for Rainbrother. It is at once experimental and comforting, daring and affecting. No mean feat then that it also packs a real emotional punch. This is very good work. Go buy – it is released 3rd of February 2017.