This collection of 11 stylistically diverse tracks from Kiwi-born, now London-based Kiwi multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer Jordan Rakei, combines to become the aurally enticing album that is ‘Wallflower’.
From the opening track, Eye To Eye, Rakei’s individual, soulful style draws the listener in with the control, variation and warmth of his voice. Demonstrating an impressive falsetto where appropriate, vocal harmonies feature prominently throughout, helping convey the sensitive nature of his lyrics.
Layers of cleverly arranged instrumentation compliment the vocals, with electronic elements and percussive rhythms a noticeable theme. In contrast the piano lends itself beautifully to a track titled May.
Though NZ-born, Rakei honed his singing and MPC production chops in Brisbane, his part Cook Islands heritage perhaps responsible for imbuing his music with an easy swing and natural warmth. But the music here is far from simple, rather richly detailed and personally emotive, apparently inspired by his real struggles with introversion and anxiety.
Recorded at Old Paradise Audio in London, studio owner Jim Macrae contributed to the album as drummer, engineer and co-producer among other roles. A cohesive album it ebbs and flows engagingly from the first to the final track, exact production ensuring a quality outcome.