What does Rapt sound like?
Indie folk softly resting on the wounds of previous battles waged.
The review of Rapt – Wayward Faith
Rapt found himself back at his childhood home during the pandemic. He wrote much of his new album “Wayward Faith” whilst rediscovering memories he didn’t recognise, possessions he didn’t remember and pulling back cobwebs on photo albums and live experiences. This led Rapt to start questioning the idea of faith and how a lived experience can shape your own values and future outlook on the world.
This leads “Wayward Faith” into becoming a multi-layered album of rustic rootsy acoustic guitar folk. Hushed with breathy vocals, the occasional flurry for strums and some light string, piano and synth production. The whole album sounds vintage and nostalgic, from the warm guitar recordings to the reverb-drenched dual-panned vocals. It sets you up for a magical mystery tour of someone’s childhood and faith exploration too in a wonderful way. Probably the most direct lyrical track is the dreamy “Fifteen” which recalls an argument with his dad and how Rapt still beats himself up about it. Lush finger-strolled guitar strings bend and wax around the pain with distant, soft-kick drum beats and synths.
Elsewhere, the traditional folk approach works wonders to hold the listener in a place of reflection. “New Pardoner” has an extended three chord motif that pirouettes around the idea of waiting for resolution. It’s like a Sword of Damocles that’s been hung by Rapt himself as he awaits an outcome to his own exploration. The brooding poetry of “Last Night In Exile” is amped up by layered backing vocals and cinematic sound design that would make Tunng and Unto Ashes proud.
Not everything is quite so dark though. Indeed, the first half of the album is more ethereal and spacious. The opener “Only Water” has a waltzing call to it as all the low end of the instrumentation is stripped away. It leaves a thin and distant vocal, plinky piano and empty air as Rapt hears a siren’s call to his home and to find some kind of faith. “The Nest” is a nurturing track of taking flight and becoming your own person, whilst “Threads” is classic singer-songwriter scenery building about spider cobwebs taking over the memories Rapt discovers. It’s also about the lack of connection that separates people over time. Being able to provide a warm blanket of sumptuous guitar work and vocal production whilst keeping things sullen is what makes the album stand out. Central to all this is the gaussian vocal delivery – heavy on layers, distance and reverb. When added with pace and melancholy like on “Fallow (1-III)”, it brings out some of the finest dream folk around in 2022.
“Wayward Faith” is one of those albums that nestles in. It’s also an album that feels very different depending on your mood. One day I listened to it after spending the day with my parents and it was like a comfort blanket. Today, I listened to the album ahead of today’s review after having some difficult discussions about their health and it was one of the most relatable downers I’d had in ages. Rapt is able to accentuate the mood with his masterful music. Use this album like medicine or catharsis if you are having tricky parental relations.
Recommended track: Last Night In Exile
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