After giving us the best debut album of 2015 like it was no big deal and then swanning off on a lengthy tour, we’ve heard little from Rae in recent months. Until now. It looks like Rae Morris, the pride of Blackpool, has a second album on the way.
‘Reborn’ is maybe going a bit far. On this new single, we get what we’ve come to expect. Vocal acrobatics and big choruses. But things have certainly gotten spookier. The chilly loop which opens the song sounds like a John Carpenter soundtrack. There’s a brittle 80s quality to this only emboldened by the stuttering drum machine at the heart of the track.
Morris clearly has a love of the otherworldly, but the ethereal quality of Unguarded was kept in check by the underlying sweetness of her message. Here her intentions are murkier, her writing elaborate and evocative.
If I didn’t know any better I’d say Rae was trying to break up with us. On ‘Reborn’ Rae finds her true worth and decides she can do better than the likes of us: “Find another name for me” is the blunt message of the song. It’s a confidence at odds with the ingénue charm of her debut album. But it’s a thrilling left-turn.
‘Reborn’ may lack the anthemic quality of Morris’ prior work but it has a depth far removed from the mainstream pop sound that Rae has tip-toed around. ‘Reborn’ sounds closer to Requiem for a Dream than anything in the top 40.
As a huge fan of her work it’s a pretty tantalising taste of what’s to come. She hasn’t totally abandoned her old tricks; gothic motifs and plenty of arty hand flailing (see the above video). Again Morris hangs onto the ideas of heartbreak, death and sickness (“Have they found a cure for me?”) and yet somehow the effect is compelling and ultimately uplifting.
Witchy women, see how high she flies.