Local duo, Rainmaker, have recently released a new, self-titled EP. As a part of an exciting youth movement stirring thing up in the Lincolnshire area, these guys could be said to be at the forefront of it. With the release of the EP, one question stands and that being, is the music any good? Of course they’re involved with the correct people, their work ethic appears to be brilliant from what I’ve already seen, and their initiative is admirable, but is the music of any substance at all? Could this go anywhere? I see no point in holding the suspense, and I’m pleased to tell you that the EP is actually a brilliant piece of work.
Rainmaker consists of Matt Raistrick on vocals, and Hetty McCarthy on guitar and backing vocals. Together they’ve managed to create something that immediately appears very special. It’s stripped back and strikes with no pretence, and actually conjures up memories through its familiarity to something you just can’t put your finger on. The intro is a wonderful sample that got me excited straight away as to what I was about to hear. I guess age can equal prejudice sometimes, and these two are only young, but they seem wiser than their years. So this intro, with its sample of what appears to be an old school radio broadcast, layered over with hip-hop drums, and a funk guitar riff was a bit of a surprise for me, and it drew my attention positively. We then fall straight into the first full track on the EP, ‘Belong’. This song had me tearing myself apart trying to liken it to something else I love, and I think I settled on John Martyn, but then on second listen, I’d lost that completely. But the feel of it was great, and it becomes obvious, it’s very relaxed and contemporary lounge music. The lyrics are great, and the guitar playing is of a fantastic standard. It’s acoustic done very well, but not pushed too far. Stripped back, and laid out for you to enjoy with ease.
Another insight into the group comes as we move onto track three from the EP, ‘Take Me Away’. It’s a jazzy little number that shows how versatile these two are. The guitar sounds different, Matt’s voice sounds different, and they’ve even added piano which I assume is covered by Pat McCarthy, which I further assume is a relative of Hetty. Keeping it in the family, and a talented one it must be. The same again as we find ourselves at track four, ‘Feed Me A Woman’. With subtle electronic elements, and electric guitar on this one by the sounds of things, they’ve maintained their sound all the way through, but without repeating themselves or creating the same song multiple times.
It’s amazing to see that the two have only been playing together since 2012, yet they gel so well together and create a great sound that is funky but laid back. For their age range, I don’t know anybody else doing this in the Lincolnshire area, not with original material anyway.
The interlude reprises the same drum roll from the intro and we take a short breather, but by now I’m keen to hear more. The next three tracks continue to impress, and ease me gently into the weekend, and as it nears its end, I want to hear it again already. The minimal production on the record adds a charm to it that of course with money or accessibility to a more comprehensive studio probably wouldn’t have been there. With success I’m sure this will change, but for now I believe it adds to it. I’m already looking forward to hearing more from them, and will be looking out for them on the live circuit. ‘Just rock ‘n’ roll’ wraps the album up, which appears to be an Oasis-esque indie tribute. They’ve cited indie as one of their influences, along with funk, reggae and Latin jazz! What a cocktail. This final track has flaws in it as I would have liked more aggression in the vocals, whereas they seem like the same jazz bar vocals we heard before, but woken up a few degrees more. Instrumentally however, the song only builds and builds, as guitar licks become more regular as the song continues, before breaking down into one hell of a solo. Instantly, it’s obvious that this one will be a live highlight. If I get to see them live soon, I’ll be urging Matt to get a bit grittier before this one starts. Overall, the EP is a great listen, and surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. A big well done to Rainmaker…