Rae Morris – Someone Out There Review

Rae Morris is a name that has bubbled under the surface for a while. A frankly beige debut – Unguarded – released in 2015, was met with mediocre success, with singles simmering at the C List of prime-time Radio 1, and a smattering of advert backing tracks to her name. It seems that come 2018, however, the songstress from Blackpool was bored of bubbling. New record Someone Out There is fluorescent and fiery, its cheeky and incredibly sharp. It doesn’t bubble, it explodes.

It’s an album that doesn’t sit still.

The first single, Reborn, hinted to the new experimental pop avenue right away, with a skittish hook and ethereal synths, while bold follow up Do It ditches the quietness of her first LP to form unfiltered pop perfection, with Dip My Toe following the same kind of lyrical ideas. Other singles Atletico (The Only One) and Lower the Tone are rapturous anthems as well, though the latter begins as a serene robotic croon for affection before launching into a web of synth hooks and relentless bass. The album bought us the first hearing of Rose Garden – a huge asset to the track list – combining the electronica of songs previous, as well as the balladry of her freshman album, to bring lyrics about the confusion and disorientation of panic attacks to life. As well as being an incredible song on its own, it’s meaningful, and expertly crafted.

Unguarded’s musical themes do pop up on occasion. Single Push Me To My Limit is an odd opener to the album; an gentle, airy synth-built track that gives no hints at the uproarious pop direction some of the upcoming numbers follow. The title track is largely Rae’s vocal balanced on top of piano and slow percussion, and is a softly motivational letter to the lonely. Dancing With Character is an emotional conclusion about a widower, still incorporating the mechanics of the pop-y tunes but using it subtly to make for a graceful, authentic closer. Although the more anthemic additions are definitely the best part of the album, the call backs to Rae’s original sound form a bridge between the first and second offering. It’s also nice to have some variety; the album and its songs are so unpredictable, even the calmer songs build excitement – you never know what’s coming next.

Someone Out There is a wild ride, especially considering the somewhat lacklustre debut. So please, Radio 1, put Rae on the A List.

Rae Morris – Someone Out There: 8/10

Ellie Chivers

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