Debut EPs don’t come more electrifying — or confident or hotly anticipated — than the new six-song, self-titled offering from Vancouver-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Rayne, and not just because musical heavyweights like songwriter Tavish Crowe (Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”) and producer Ryan Stewart (Simple Plan, Bif Naked) appear as collaborators.
For starters, the EP showcases Rayne’s soaring voice, a powerhouse instrument that perfectly captures the intensity (sometimes playfulness) of her vivid and supremely relatable lyrics. The EP also locates Rayne, just 17 and already a veteran performer with multiple marquee gigs on the CV, as a pop songwriter of exceptional versatility and imagination. Also, as one to watch.
Witness “Do With That,” the EP’s irresistible first single, a supple lament for a broken relationship buoyed by sweeping synth and a chiming chorus. “I wrote ‘Do With That’ with Andrew Allen and Ryan Stewart,” Rayne offers. “Andrew came up with the idea of the beat, the movement. We knew how we wanted it to sound and came up with the idea around that. I am really happy with that song.”
Contrast the raw emotion of “Do With That” against the swaggering vibe and propulsive melody of “Bored,” a song Rayne penned with Brian Howes and Jeff Dawson. “Going into the session I didn’t have a ton of ideas. I just really wanted to write a song called ‘Bored’ because I thought it was a cool concept and not something people might typically write about. Brian was like, ‘We can totally work with that,’ so I spit out the first line: ‘Boy, I am over it!’ And it just went from there.”
Though she has been performing her entire life — “There is actually a video of me in kindergarten singing at a talent show,” Rayne howls — a connection with Tracey Singer at KMusic Management in 2018 launched her on her current path of co-songwriting with seasoned others.
“Three of the songs on the EP — ‘Envious,’ ‘Scar Tissue,’ and ‘Never Getting Over Me’ — were co-written with Tavish Crowe,” Rayne says. “I love writing with him. I don’t know what it is but it seems like every song we work on turns out great.”
Songs for the EP were carefully selected from a catalogue of new material. Production began in April 2019 with Ryan Stewart at the helm and Miles Walker (Beyoncé, Rihanna, Usher) mixing. Mastering was completed by Colin Leonard (Alessia Cara, Justin Bieber, Jay-Z) at SING Mastering in Atlanta.
“This is pop music, quite big sounding, and I feel like I’ve been able to capture teen angst in a way that’s palatable to other generations,” Rayne says of the EP, citing wildly diverse artists like Florence Welch, Billie Eilish, and Panic! At the Disco’s Brendon Urie as kindred musical spirits.
Recently, Rayne’s music was sent to Eric Spence at Bluestone/Mosley Music Group in L.A., paving the way to writing on Milli Beatz (2 Chainz, Rihanna) tracks. Rayne just completed the first track, “The Low” and is in the process of writing several more over his beats.
So yeah, as the saying goes, the future is bright… though Rayne clearly has everything firmly in perspective. “Having people I don’t know personally — as well as people I do know — listening to my music and enjoying it would be super-cool. Being able to do what I love and to share that with others would definitely look like success to me.”