Album review – Rayographs


Rayographs – ‘Rayographs’ (Desire)

where the bloody hell did this come from?

Almost completely under the radar, this three piece have emerged with their debut album, and in doing so, have quietly produced one of the records of the year.

A rayograph – just in case you’re interested, is a photograph where an item is placed on the photographic paper without using a negative. this often uses strange juxtapositions of objects. This works well as a description of Rayographs the band: Astrud Steehouder (guitar/vocals); Jessamine Tierney (bass/vcoals) and Amy Hurst (drums/ ‘occasional’ vocals).

There may well be antecedents here (Patti Smith, Throwing Muses, PJ Harvey), and yet what is striking about this record is just how original it sounds, how utterly accomplished it is for a debut album. ‘Falconberg Court’ is spoken word over a slight case of feedback ‘n’ blues. ‘November’s slow descent into a maelstrom that is threatened and yet never arrives, not finishing how more predictable bands might. ‘Space Halls’ and ‘Cartwheels’ feel more like ‘songs’ but not in a conventional way; The Rayographs are not interested in working in the simple verse/chorus/verse approach -and the album is all the more interesting for that.

The album is at once stark yet beautiful, psychedelic yet ethereal, original and yet building upon blues music that stretches back decades. Expect to see them soundtracking a film at an arthouse near you soon.

Don’t let this just be a critical hit; spread the word and go and buy it.


Rayographs is released on April 25 on desire records

Rayographs -‘Space Of the Halls.’ mp3