Josin – In the Blank Space

Josin

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.”

 

 

 

3 thoughts

  1. Rant time.

    Radio-fucking-head. No artist baffles me more than The Thom and Johnny Show – specifically, their success. I get that they make some solid music, bits of it are quite forward thinking, but… they have one emotion. One! Maybe a few different shades of it, but they are the most boring shades of melancholy ever put to wax. There’s more interesting emotion in one song off of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Blue’ than the entire Radiohead catalog! I just don’t get how they can be so one-note, but so widely loved. Like the Silver Jews dude said, “never has the biggest band in the world had so little to say.” A career’s worth of over-emoting about how bad the world is, but never offering hope or solutions. So how are they sucessful? Oh right, the sounds…

    BUT THE SOUNDS ARE UN-FUN TOO! I would rather listen to quite literally any one of Radiohead’s influences (and they are well-documented, it’s not like they’re hard to find) than the best Radiohead album (Kid A, In Rainbows, The Bends and AMSP, depending on my mood – but not one would crack my top 250 for their given decade). Bjork is better, Eno is better, Bowie is better, Aphex Twin is better, Autechre are better, Miles is better, Mingus is better, the Coltranes are both so much better, Burial is better, Neil Young is better, The Beatles are better, Jeff Buckley is better, Pink Floyd are overrated and still better, Tom Waits is better, Dilla is better, Can is better, Kate Bush is fucking amazing, R.E.M. are better, James Brown is better, DJ Shadow is better, The Smiths even at their most melancholy and similar to Radiohead are more emotionally diverse and better, Talking Heads is better, Pixies are better, Nick Drake is better, Talk Talk is better, PJ Harvey is better, Kraftwek is better, Penderecki is better, Lee “Scratch” Perry is way better, Warp records and Trojan records and Krautrock and Post-Punk and everything is better.

    So, yeah, I’m a little bitter. I like the idea of Radiohead – all those influences should make an amazing band. But they’re so dulll in how they recombine them. I can’t be bothered ranting further, actually – my interest in Radiohead’s overration only extends to their emotional dullness and their inability to better anything.

    Sorry Josin, I’ve got no interest in a good copy of a boring muddle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *After the smokes clears, people stand from the rubble and assess the damage. The entire city looks like a series of giant skeleton buildings barely holding up their heads. Soot and dust cover everything. A young boy runs up to a man and asks, “Where’s mama?” He quietly talks to the boy and gently guides him away from a severed foot with purple painted toenails. A cameraman and reporter go up to one of the victims and asks, “What happened here?” The dirty face lifts its head and says, “It was J.J. He started talking about Radiohead and…” they can’t finish the sentence. Tears run down their face as they say, “Jonny dropped the fucking heat. Probably the best commentary of all time. Even if you didn’t agree with all of it, it was just so fucking good. That’s what happened.”*

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      1. *Sitting alone in his smoked-out castle, shunned by society, Jonny mulls again over the pieces, trying to find something he missed, something, anything, that lets him understand. The wind whispers through the curtains with a high falsetto; the bushes rustle with crackling potential. An old man stands at the base of the hill, just watching, hoping. But still, nothing. The old man leaves when he hears not high falsetto and crackling percussion, but booming Dub spilling out of the castle, for he knows that today is not the day Jonny understands just what he has done.*

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