Raintown; the creator of the country-pop love-child that is Writing On The Wall. This Glaswegian duo have commendably formulated an album brimming with sentimental ballads and honeyed pop harmonies that even ol’ Taylor Swift would work hard to compete with.
However, to call it purely country music would be a stretch, a slight misrepresentation. While the attributes of country frameworks are present – the harmonicas, both clean and scuzzy guitar riffs and greatly instrumentalized refrains – they appear to be wholly smothered by the contemporary twist the married duo desired to achieve. In a typical folk manner, they’ve largely focused on the conversational storytelling of each track – yet paired with their heavy pop vibes, their hooks have become undeniably catchy in the same way that makes you loathe One Direction when you accidentally catch yourself singing snippets whilst cooking.
It’s doubtless to say that Raintown have clearly configured the perfect recipe for this country-pop hybrid sound – the couple having earned 8 awards in the short span of 3 years and the public have lapped up the soppy homages to love and happiness that are previous ballads ‘Just One Kiss’, ‘Picture Of Us’ and ‘Love’s Got a Hold of You’. Yet new tracks ‘If This Was A Love Song’, ‘Better Beautiful’ and ‘Missing You’ merely prove that this is also an ongoing motif for Raintown, Writing on The Wall only being mildly peppered with vaguely contrasting tracks like ‘Shut The Front Door.’
While some people may find the genre fusion slightly discordant, it does work in certain aspects. The simple chord structure of a classic folk song isn’t far off the straightforward format of our everyday pop song. Their male/female harmonies and melodies work well for this country-pop twist and the eclectic fusion clearly works well for the masses, as it appears “everyone’s talking about Raintown” according to BBC Radio 2’s Baylen Leonard. If you’re looking for something a little more Johnny Cash though, then maybe Writing on the Wall isn’t wholly for you.
Ash Valentine @