If you re-titled this shit as Radiohead (era: Kid A and Amnesiac) but with a new singer, nobody would know the fucking difference. She’s even got the same vocal range as Yorke. Josin, named Arabella Rauch, and her delightful church-like choir vocals glide gracefully on top of emotionally glassy instrumentals with a huge variety of electronic effects squeezed in till it’s about to fucking burst. Ya, like I said before, no one would know the difference.
Arabella was born in Cologne. Both her parents sing opera (no pressure). This is her debut album. Huh? Ya, this is her first time at bat. Do you know how many albums have tried to remake Kid A or Amnesiac? Do you know how many people have Google searched “bands that sound like Radiohead”? So for someone to step up, right out of the fucking block, and to sound close to a band that has endless funds and time, a handful of members, years in the industry, and gobs of experience? Sweet sultry successor, now that’s some talent. Just think where she’ll go from here.
Now that we’ve got that obvious comparison out of the way, let’s get to fucking business.
What makes Josin unique? This album is so fucking slick. This is a KY slip ‘n slide on top of black ice going through a soap factory for 40 minutes. Arabella’s voice doesn’t require a jump into that falsetto range. This is her natural domain. It’s fucking heavenly. Heavy reverb on a series of acoustic instruments mixed in with syncopated synth that has a hint of ’80s for character, and a forward vocal line might sound busy. But it’s not. The production, playing, vocals, harmonies, song structures, lyrics … every single fucking thing on this album is easy to digest. It drifts into your consciousness like a fog, changes your entire demeanour and headspace, and then just suddenly ends. As this album finished, I stared blankly into nothing and wondered about the lifespan of a smoke ring. It’s the kind of shit you put on late at night to watch some stars and wonder at the wonder of the universe. In other words, this shit gets you high as a motherfucker. Holy shit, this gets you high. Or, in Arabella’s words in the reasoning behind her naming this album In the Blank Space:
“I’m trying to describe a state where you actually want to get lost in a space, because that nothingness is full of everything. It can shift and bend and creates all shades, if you accept to be only one little atom. It’s about being content and conscious of all the things that could be overlooked or forgotten. But everything you long for is around you.”