Review: Rae Morris – Grow

 

With a status that seems to be growing each day and a voice as big as her hair, Rae Morris, since appearing on the scene (and only finishing her A-levels) just last year, is already becoming a force to be reckoned with. Having been on the road with the likes of Lucy Rose and Noah And The Whale, played with many accomplished artists at the Africa Express shows and written a song for the final episode of Skins, it is surprising and impressive that she has achieved all of this and only just brought out her second three-track EP. Her continuing ability to silence her growing audiences and her unwavering quality regardless of her large fan base means that there is no pressure on Rae, just potential.

Rae Morris hasn’t stopped playing and working with other artists since her last EP and the experience certainly shows on Grow. Title-track Grow is a big leap forward for her in terms of production, and her trademark stripped back sound takes on a deeper, more affecting and more layered style, which reveals just a little taster of the darkness and wide emotional range that lies underneath her sweet exterior. Way Back When is full of all the sanguine charm that we have come to expect from her, but is tinged with an innocent melancholy to remind us that, as she says, her music is her in her ‘rawest state’. As she sings the charming, optimistic words ‘I’ll never be alright, come on let’s start again’ we are treated to sincerity and maturity which feel far beyond her 19 years and make it obvious that even though her music is her at her rawest state, she is more than capable of making some of the most refined and relatable new music to come out this year.

The final track of the EP, Not Knowing is once again proof that Rae knows how to write a good ballad, and knows how to write a song to end a show. Not Knowing shows the same kind of uplifting and stimulating power that we heard with her earlier songs Day One and Walls, but the introduction of percussion – which gives a great extra dimension to the EP – and the benefits of a more established style gives this song a huge burst of belief, as if every second of it is her coming of age moment. The whole EP is tinged with sweetness, laced with echoing, hopeful vocals and bursting with the promise of greater things to come. Rae Morris already sounds like she’s been in this business for a long time, and, if Grow is anything to go by, her debut album is sure to propel her fully into the public eye.

Josh King