On her second album, ‘Fatigue’, Brooklyn experimental artist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist L’Rain (aka Taja Cheek) balances intimacy with abstraction. A release that explores the complex nature of change and the “simultaneity of human emotions'', its 14 tracks take in fragments of avant-garde pop, neo-soul, psychedelic and ambient music, alt-rock and more; she stitches these styles together with carefully placed field recordings and tactile sound collage. Journeying along this album feels rousing and vivid, and its intricate detours only add to the experience.
At points, L’Rain’s vocals appear up close like an internal monologue, while at others they are anthemic. She is frequently accompanied by a cast of collaborators, who bring a sense of collectivism to the album’s themes, which feel at once deeply personal, and profoundly universal. ‘Fatigue’ is comfortably one of the most striking albums of 2021; its intricately woven tapestry of sounds ensures that, with each listen, it reveals something new.
A similar sense of variety comes into play in L’Rain’s Selections, in which she spotlights some of her recent favourites, spanning experimental music at either side of the spectrum: organic and electronic, healing and haunting. From the meditative sound bath of A Space For Sound and the otherworldly guitars of Amirtha Kidambi and Matteo Liberatore, to Semiratruth’s lunar hip-hop, dreamcrusher's cathartic distortion and Space Afrika’s visionary ambience, there’s so much to explore in these choices, with each release adding further depth to understanding of L’Rain’s own artistic output.
Dig into L’Rain’s Selections below, and listen to (and buy) ‘Fatigue’ here.