Matt Cross, Daniel Gilbert, Dion Hynes, Jordan Taylor and Ryan Taylor are Rayfield. The band started as a high school getaway for the guitarist Jordan Taylor. The band, like most of the other bands, worked around their lives. Although the band created quite a buzz other commitments were also in order which is why these recordings which started in 2013 were released in 2019.
It took me very little time to appreciate this band. They definitely have a ’90s indie rock vibe. Bands like Neutral Milk Hotel, The Shins and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah come to mind but you can also go back further than that. There were a couple times Neil Young felt like an influence on the band.
“Working Kind” is the opener on their self-titled album Rayfield and I initially thought they were covering The Cure from the drum beat alone. Once the song starts they do still sound like The Cure at points but it’s way more bright and warmer than The Cure usually gets. It’s just a great song with tasteful guitar patterns and fantastic vocal melodies.
I mentioned Neutral Milk Hotel and you can hear that on “A Stone Unturned.” That being said you could argue the verse sounds more like a traditional Celtic song. The chorus is atmospheric and quite beautiful. There is just a great mix of emotion with this song.
The good tunes keep coming with “Oh Cheryl” which is delightfully catchy while “This City's Changing” contains inventive unique transitions in time along with slick guitar melodies, They continue to create a solid foundation with “Nibaru” and the somewhat thought provoking “Drinking With A Ghost.” The alt-country “In Our Time” is a fun romp before the sparse closer “The Loon, The Owl and The Snake.”
This is an exceptional album. Indie rock like this isn’t as popular as it used to. Times change as it should but there is no doubt in my mind that this band can hang with the best of them. This album is an underground gem if you appreciate some of the aforementioned artists. Highly recommended.
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