LOUDER REVIEWS: 'The World In Colour' - Luke Rainsford
Luke Rainsford has become a staple of many a festival acoustic stage and intimate show up and down the UK – and on foreign soil too – over the past few years. His ability to allow his audience a crystal-clear window into his own painful experiences has endeared him to a dedicated group of fans, who find companionship, comfort and solace in his candid tales of his past and present struggles. Luke’s latest EP, ‘The World In Colour’, is no different. Each of the four tracks explore emotion in a profoundly visceral way, alongside well-crafted imagery that could be drawn straight from an artistic short film.
The EPs four tracks seem to pair off tonally in alternating couplets. Opening track ‘Tip Toe’ breaks with sun-kissed ripples of acoustic guitar, accompanied by soaring lyrics infused with a delectable happiness that tastes like honey on the tongue. The little sprinkle of electric guitars that bookend the choruses give it a balmy yacht-rock edge: this is the perfect sentimental love song that avoids straying into the realms of the saccharine.
By contrast, the melancholy reverberations like ripples on a pond that signal the opening of ‘Lack’ indicate a much darker storm of an atmosphere is brewing. However, whereas the verses are drawn straight from the soft light of twilight hour, the choruses bring a more full-bodied groove to the melody, with subtle electronic pulses that weave their way through the background. In hiding uncomfortable truths beneath a funky, danceable melody, (a style which has been shaped in the modern age by the likes of twenty one pilots, and emulated by many since), allows you to be drawn along in the rippling ebb of the melody, until your ears become hooked around one phrase which then brings the hurt and pain of the lyrics crashing down on your head.
Returning to a lighter touch is ‘In Spite Of All My Worry’. The vocals on this track are stunningly controlled and soft, and so only need the accompaniment of the echoing acoustic guitar that has become Luke’s trademark. Though the heart-wrenching echoes of pain and a search for comfort still exist beneath the surface, fans of his earlier work will not be able to help the smile that breaks across your face at the genuine rays of hope that breaks through the slowly brightening melodies. Lines like ‘you make me see the good in all my bad’ are alone enough to warm anyone’s heart, and the harmonies in the chorus blend wonderfully to create the perfect bittersweet lullaby.
A staple of Luke’s live set for several years now is ‘World In Colour’s most powerfully affecting track – ‘Frame’. The unsullied opening notes are pertinently raw, and even when the full band kicks in for the latter half of the first verse, the beating heart of the track is by no means diluted. Sporting one of the most genuinely tear-jerking choruses of any song that has passed through my headphones in a very long time, the rounder sound that is achievable in the studio adds a layer of delicacy in comparison to the live version, yet the strained vocals and beat of silence at the conclusion of the final chorus retain all the raw emotion of an intensely personal live performance.
Overall, these four tracks appear to signal a growth in Luke’s sound as well as his musical direction. All the hallmarks of his affecting acoustic shows are present and correct – almost uncomfortably candid lyrics coupled with sucker-punch melodies that have more firepower than any acoustic guitar line has the right to! Yet the small affections of synths and electronic guitars showcase Luke’s potential to be a brilliant crafter of pop songs that still retain a sense of passion and meaning – a talent that is very much sought after in the world we currently inhabit.
'World In Colour' is out now - stream the record here.
Check out the video for 'Lack' here: