Lo-fi, self-produced, catchy debut album documenting the challenges of everyday life.
Having been born in Texas, brought up in Swindon, Rainn Byrns currently resides in Peckham in South-East London. His debut album ‘New In Town’ is a young person’s take on life, relationships and navigating dead-end jobs in the capital. Byrns sums up his attitude to this as “crappy-go-lucky”. The songs on the album are relatively lo-fi which makes the record endearing and fits the subject matter well.
Opening track, ‘New In Town’, documents a naïve Byrns’s struggles moving to the city, ‘No familiar faces around, So could someone show me the ropes’. It’s followed by ‘Big’, a jaunty number which is also about coming to terms with arriving in a city much bigger than anything you’ve encountered before. It juxtapositions Byrns’s job of cleaning toilets with his friends who all appear to be making it big. It illustrates the aphorism that self-comparison can be the thief of joy. The theme of self-doubt raises it heads again on ‘I’m Her Man’, in which Byrns finds himself feeling unworthy of having such a wonderful partner.
‘Tailspin’ is a jangly, riff-laden song with an uplifting tune, but it’s offset by downbeat lyrics which deal with seeking closure in relationships and the awkwardness which results when things are left unresolved. ‘Homeward Bound’ looks at how moving home several times in his youth affected Bryns’s relationships, by virtue of only ‘dipping his feet in the waters of time’ at each different location. ‘Looking Glass’ is underlain by a gentle bossa-nova groove in which Bryns recounts how life’s memories are looked upon through rose-tinted glasses.
‘New In Town’ was recorded and self-produced at Byrns’s home studio in Peckham. Byrns is a talented chap, he played all the instruments on the album himself, using only analogue recording techniques. It’s a solid debut, with some hook-laden songs. Byrns is certainly a performer to look out for in the future.