Rhye is the rare Los Angeles band that doesn’t feel like they are in any way Los Angeles but totally are and are totally great and very soon are going to be exploding all over everyone in the world’s face. Their style of music is one part smooth, smooth sexy R&B, one part Sweedish dream pop, one part electronic keyboard, and–most importantly–one part Sade. They’re a band that feel a little too good to be true and, with their debut album Woman, they totally make you know that they’re handling the buzz around them pretty smoothly.
The group consists of Milosh and Robin Hannibal (of Quadron) and are a very hush-hush little group. Many have asked who the mystery person doing the smooth vocals is and, surprise, it is actually Mr. Milosh according to an interview with Pitchfork. The duo is using Rhye as a side-project but, obviously, they are building a lot more momentum than they imagined. Woman is already one of the most anticipated albums of 2013 and its March 4 release can’t come soon enough. Luckily, we can preview the album via Pitchfork Advance here.
Woman follows through on every claim made (or assumed) with the release of “The Fall” (above), a playful beckoning piano and string song that anyone who has to have a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife go on a business trip can relate to. Tracks like starter “Open” (at bottom) and “3 Days” run a piercing row of chills up your spine they are so smooth, songs from a lost Sade album likely produced by a James Blake on his A game. “Last Dance” with it’s horn bursts and “Oh no you didn’t.” vocals recall jazz band anthems while “Shed Some Blood” tiptoes in and out of the bedroom with deep layered vocals and a suggestive bassline. Woman does a good job at switching up this formula, too: “Major Minor Love” is practically bass, vocal tricks, and swooping coos whille “Hunger” touches the edges of disco territory with a “Hustle” like beat but, of course, the song stays pretty close to the ice.
The band and the album have a simplicity that has gotten them comparisons to acts like The xx, who–really–should be called The boringboring because they are so simple they are boring and have the personality of dead leaves. Rhye set themselves apart because of Milosh’s completely earnest, soulful vocals. It’s cool to pretend you are a late eighties or early nineties R&B act right now and very few successful musicians pull it off this effectively. Autre Ne Veut come close–but Rhye comes closest. They aren’t fucking around and aren’t play acting at this sound: they’ve recreated it through a 2013 lens. Major, major, major applause to Rhye for pulling it out.