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BLACK RAINBOWS

BLACK RAINBOWS

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She purrs about the perils of beauty standards on “He Will Follow You With His Eyes” before she drops the dreamy façade and celebrates her Black skin, her favorite lipstick, and her kinky hair over an electronic morass. Bailey Rae originally planned Black Rainbows as a side project, a freewheeling meditation on the history of Black experience she discovered at the Stony Island Arts Bank archive in Chicago.

The song is Rae’s imagining of Jacobs hiding in an attic near the plantation from which she’d escaped, where she could watch her still-enslaved children in secret from a hole in the wall of her hiding place. There, she encountered a striking 1954 snapshot of Audrey Smaltz, then a 17-year-old pageant winner posing with a grin on the back of a fire truck.Bailey Rae stated that Black Rainbows was inspired by an exhibition on Black history by artist Theaster Gates at the Stony Island Arts Bank in Chicago that she attended, which "summoned thoughts about slavery, spirituality, beauty, survival, hope and freedom". Earthlings” chugs on a mechanical synth as Rae invites us to a new utopia, and warm ripples of jazz guitar ebb into the mix like distant radio waves. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast.

Even better is closer Before the Throne of the Invisible God, on which, metamorphosis complete, she becomes an east Pennine Alice Coltrane. They tried to eviscerate you/Hide behind the curtain/Make you forget your name,” she howls, wrapping imagery of censored photographs in barbed-wire guitar lines and a pummeling rhythm. Put It Down” is Black Rainbows’ most dynamic piece, opening with an elegant string intro and the sound of gasping, almost choking breath. Smaltz herself went on to work at Ebony Fashion Fair and establish a lifetime presence in the fashion world: Like Rae, her story is one of gutsy self-determination. The stunning “Peach Velvet Sky,” meanwhile, is a sparkling and bittersweet ballad inspired by Harriet Jacobs, author of the 1861 book Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

Next, a smart sequencing of mostly great songs, including the astonishing He Will Follow You With His Eyes, a coquettish, jazzy number that transmutes into something wild and magical as she blankly intones lines such as “my black hair kinking, my black skin gleaming” while the song disintegrates around her.

Rae has spoken about a personal metamorphosis inspired by a 2017 visit to the Stony Island Arts Bank in Chicago, a sprawling archive of Black life piloted by multi-disciplinary artist Theaster Gates. Black Rainbows received a score of 91 out of 100 on review aggregator Metacritic based on seven critics' reviews, indicating "universal acclaim". Record Collector 's John Earls wrote that Black Rainbows "magnificently roars around garage rock, jazz and even, on Erasure, Black Flag hardcore", concluding that "although Bailey Rae is hardly prolific – this is just her fourth album – she's worth the wait".

The young ensemble garnered attention from the alt-rock heavy hitter Roadrunner Records but the deal fell through, an industry heartbreak that nonetheless kept Rae pursuing music. Allison Hussey of Pitchfork felt that "it sounds like a departure but feels like a renaissance", and the "softer turns on Black Rainbows feel nearest to Rae's earlier material, but those, too, subvert expectations".



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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