Raynes is a transatlantic trio made up of two Americans and a Brit. Now based in Los Angeles, Mat Charley and Joe Berger, both born and raised in North Dakota, met UK native Mark Race through Instagram after an extensive search for the final piece of this project. The geographically unlikely three combine their unique and complementary strengths to form an artistically authentic band, integrating elements of modern pop with classically Americana instrumentation. Their ability to blend pianos and synths, pounding drums and sophisticated vocals, and string arrangements with acoustic guitars and mandolins results in an impactful, one-of-a-kind style.
Raynes’ highly anticipated debut single ‘Lemon Drop’ showcases their distinct amalgamation of influences. Produced by Mighty Mike (Lana Del Rey, The Neighbourhood, Dua Lipa) and mastered by Joe LaPorta (David Bowie, Vampire Weekend, Shawn Mendes), the track features catchy melodies, violin riffs, and stacked vocal harmonies. Raynes share: “It’s been a fun challenge incorporating all of Mike’s pop expertise into our sound. We’ve had a blast figuring out how to make a violin sound like a synth and a snare sound like a hand clap, as well as blending it all together so it walks the line between folk and pop in the most appealing way.” ‘Lemon Drop’ describes chasing fame in Los Angeles and the tension between the sweet and the sour that comes with that. The trio confide, “It’s pretty fatalistic, but very tongue in cheek, as none of us are really planning on getting hooked on drugs or the adoration of fans or any of the other pitfalls that our parents and Hollywood itself warned us about.”
Sonically, the music is inspired by a myriad of different influences. Their sound has been compared to the arena-filling choruses of Coldplay, the Americana instrumentation of Mumford and Sons, and the harmonic complexity of the Beach Boys. Raynes call this inimitable fusion “expensive folk”––folk instrumentation which incorporates very obvious elements of pop production, ultimately creating a slicker and shinier sound than straight-down-the-middle folk. “Even with all of the more exotic or unusual components, it’s really just pop music at its core,” reveals the band.
There are recurring lyrical motifs running through the music of Raynes––heads and hearts, blood and bones, sugar and salt, sun and rain, and wine and water, among many others. There are also a number of musical ideas and elements that repeat in many of their songs, such as atmospheric synth tones, violin and mandolin counterpoints, and world-inspired percussion. But there’s not really one thematic throughline other than “the human condition” and all that comes with it––longing, confusion, cowardice and despair, but also joy, hope, growth, and of course love. Some songs are inspired by Bible stories, Greek myths, or historical events, and some are more personal, direct, and intimate.
With a catalog of songs, ready to unveil one by one, Raynes continues to grace audiences with their robust folky foot-stompers, introspective ballads, and pure pop sugar. ‘Lemon Drop’ is currently available worldwide.