Boomkat Product Review:
Rainy Miller’s effortlessly soul-nuzzling beauty of a debut album introduces the crucial node of a new movement originating in our native North West England, dispensed on his burgeoning label, Fixed Abode
First issued in early 2019, the low-key neo-R&B electronica glow of ‘Limbs’ has become Rainy’s accomplished calling card, leading to hugely impressive work as producer for fellow Prestonian Blackhaine, including their soundtrack for the JordanLuca SS22 collection this year. Entirely written and realised prior to the world turning on its head, the album speaks to a sort of late decade tristesse and melancholy, exploring a mix of aching R&B soul tenor, replete with bleeding ‘art vocals - both straight-up and autotuned - and nuanced ambient soul backdrops in a way totally faithful to the region’s integral love of new US soul, rap and R&B, yet defined by its brooding grey play of weathered atmospheres, sociopolitics, and an ability to shrug it off and crack on - not be consumed by it.
Calling to mind everyone from Frank Ocean and Prince to Paddy McAloon in its slow burning depth of emotion, gauzy harmonies and timeless grip, ‘Limbs’ is every bit a slept-on modern classic of its ilk. Personalised for lowlit settings, bedroom to curtains-drawn afters and hotboxed whips; Rainy’s modest but mesmerising pathos oozes from every aspect, from its textured production to the spectrum of vocal personas. Scene-setter ‘Miller’ signals a fine vein of ambient tactility that smokily marbles the whole thing, perfused between tender R&B downstroke of ‘GTI’ to the Drake-like ‘Misery’ and the UK soul wooze of ‘Neptune’s House’, which also appears in a gorgeous ‘Ambient Version’, with his cinematic mise-en-scene in the likes of overcast highlight ‘Sans Soleil’, and the standout piece of floating chords and Prefab-like guitar with autotuned Lancastrian accent in centrepiece ‘Chalamet’, surely sealing the deal for us.