First solo release from multi-instrumentalist Will Rainier blends indie rock, Americana and alt-country.
Will Rainier badges his music as indie rock/Americana/alt-country, and all these elements and more can be heard on his first solo album release ‘Enough Blue to Get Around‘. Its thirteen tracks are notable for both the breadth of influences and for the instrumental contribution Rainier makes to the album, playing drums, bass, guitars, vocals, piano, organ, trumpet, lap steel, and percussion, as well as contributing lead vocals. Americana/alt-country flavours are added by Kevin Suggs (The Shins, Cat Power) on pedal steel, and other featured instrumentalists are Jen Garrett, Rainier’s wife, on vocals, pianist Christine Hager, Raymond Richards on bass, Chad Yenney on bass & guitar, and Grammy-winning percussionist T.J. Troy on vibraphone.
Rainier and Garrett released nine studio albums between 2005 and 2017, as the duo Stuporhero, and as frontman for Will Rainier & The Pines, Rainier’s album ‘Tethered to the World‘ was released in April of 2020. This solo project has emerged in part as a response to the constraints of the pandemic, Rainier explaining “I was already working on songs for the next album when it became apparent that the pandemic was going to last much longer than anyone originally thought, I decided to turn some of those songs into my first solo album, which had been a goal of mine for years. I recorded this project in my home studio and any parts I didn’t play myself I had other musicians play and record remotely.”
Opening track ‘Spinning’, a recent release with video as an album preview, with vocals shared with Garrett, is a pleasing mid-tempo number, with prominent pedal steel, and a nod to ‘Knocking at Heavens Door’, both in its verse melody, and lyrically, as Garrett sings in homage to Dylan “They’ve been knocking at my door/I couldn’t tell you what it was for/they’re speaking a language I don’t understand/its a like a lost track from that sonic band”.
There are Tarantino-esque elements in the closing track ‘Glow in the Dark Dashboard Jesus’, which features lead guitar reminiscent of the late John Cipollina, and elsewhere tracks shade into indie rock, notably on the outros to ‘Last Midnight Ride‘, and ‘Happy for a Limited Time’, both featuring distorted guitar.
In contrast ‘Enough Blue’ has echoes of Neil Young, while ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ is a gentle ballad featuring duet vocals from Rainier and Garrett and Troy’s vibraphone.
Self-effacing ironic humour is found in the lyrics to ‘Intermission Song’, Rainier singing “This is an intermission song/here to entertain you till something better comes on”, his trumpet adding to its unworldly feel.
An engaging blend of genres with Americana flavours, with unexpected twists.