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L’Rain - Fatigue

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Fatigue

L’Rain

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In the summer of 2021, who of us is not exhausted by the world we’ve conjured into being? Who still believes a linear story can explain society’s trash-fire circumstances—whether the present rot, its misrepresentative history, or our own individualized grief? On her second L’Rain album, the singer-songwriter-conceptualist Taja Cheek addresses the weariness, while contemplating the process of forming unifying narratives about it. The resulting work is fractured psychedelic art-pop steeped in Black music traditions, but also a collage guided by notions that are, at once, sprawling and highly personal. Fatigue is a collection of songs, vignettes and transitions about what it means to be stuck inside the new roaring ’20s (with the humanist blues again), minus the pompous art aspirations of speaking for anyone but the thirtysomething Brooklynite. Which is funny, considering how many different voices Cheek uses to do so. Amidst a gorgeously mixed procession of symphonic bedroom-pop sonics, a litany of sampled friends, bystanders and back-up singers (including Jon Bap and Anna Wise) preach and pontificate, get caught in off-hand moments of exuberation, or in a crowd. From the sheer number of vocal tonalities, Fatigue feels like it is a work of group-subconsciousness, with Cheek’s voice and guitar its undeniable narrator. One of its most complete representations comes on the wonderfully mid-tempo "Find It" where the guitars and a chorus of voices unfurl a stately melody with a chorus ("Make a way out of no way") that attempts inspiration, but in context, actually questions such pop-psychology impulse. And yet when the latter half of "Find It" transitions to the pews of a church, there’s a singing reverend in the midst of eulogy, succeeding at inspiration ("All of my good days/ Outweigh my bad days") while an organ, a drum set and a chorus of voices build and explode all around him. In that moment, the fatigue at the album’s heart is fought with, and held at bay. Yet the feeling remains—that while we may not be alone in battling its effects, the struggle is infinite. © Piotr Orlov/Qobuz

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Fatigue

L’Rain

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1
Fly, Die
L'Rain
00:02:00

Jake Aron, Mixer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Andrew Lappin, Producer, Mixer, CoProducer, TrackingEngineer - Quinton Brock, Composer - Ben Chapoteau-Katz, Producer, CoProducer - Slauson Malone, Producer, AdditionalStudioProducer - L'Rain, MainArtist - Taja Cheek, Composer, Producer, CoProducer - Throw Shade Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

2
Find It
L'Rain
00:06:17

Jake Aron, Mixer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Andrew Lappin, Producer, Mixer, CoProducer, TrackingEngineer - Ben Chapoteau-Katz, Producer, CoProducer - Slauson Malone, Producer, AdditionalStudioProducer - L'Rain, MainArtist - Taja Cheek, Composer, Producer, CoProducer - Throw Shade Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

3
Round Sun
L'Rain
00:00:21

Jake Aron, Mixer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Andrew Lappin, Producer, Mixer, CoProducer, TrackingEngineer - Ben Chapoteau-Katz, Producer, CoProducer - Slauson Malone, Producer, AdditionalStudioProducer - L'Rain, MainArtist - Taja Cheek, Composer, Producer, CoProducer - Throw Shade Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

4
Blame Me
L'Rain
00:03:31

Jake Aron, Mixer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Andrew Lappin, Producer, Mixer, CoProducer, TrackingEngineer - Ben Chapoteau-Katz, Producer, CoProducer - Slauson Malone, Producer, AdditionalStudioProducer - L'Rain, MainArtist - Taja Cheek, Composer, Producer, CoProducer - Throw Shade Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

5
Black Clap
L'Rain
00:00:26

Jake Aron, Mixer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Andrew Lappin, Producer, Mixer, CoProducer, TrackingEngineer - Ben Chapoteau-Katz, Producer, CoProducer - Slauson Malone, Producer, AdditionalStudioProducer - L'Rain, MainArtist - Taja Cheek, Composer, Producer, CoProducer - Throw Shade Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

6
Suck Teeth
L'Rain
00:03:56

Jake Aron, Mixer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Andrew Lappin, Producer, Mixer, CoProducer, TrackingEngineer - Ben Chapoteau-Katz, Producer, CoProducer - Slauson Malone, Producer, AdditionalStudioProducer - L'Rain, MainArtist - Taja Cheek, Composer, Producer, CoProducer - Throw Shade Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

7
Love Her
L'Rain
00:00:17

Jake Aron, Mixer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Andrew Lappin, Producer, Mixer, CoProducer, TrackingEngineer - Ben Chapoteau-Katz, Producer, CoProducer - Slauson Malone, Producer, AdditionalStudioProducer - L'Rain, MainArtist - Taja Cheek, Composer, Producer, CoProducer - Throw Shade Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

8
Kill Self
L'Rain
00:01:51

Jake Aron, Mixer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Andrew Lappin, Producer, Mixer, CoProducer, TrackingEngineer - Ben Chapoteau-Katz, Producer, CoProducer - Slauson Malone, Producer, AdditionalStudioProducer - L'Rain, MainArtist - Taja Cheek, Composer, Producer, CoProducer - Throw Shade Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

9
Not Now
L'Rain
00:00:10

Jake Aron, Mixer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Andrew Lappin, Producer, Mixer, CoProducer, TrackingEngineer - Ben Chapoteau-Katz, Producer, CoProducer - Slauson Malone, Producer, AdditionalStudioProducer - L'Rain, MainArtist - Taja Cheek, Composer, Producer, CoProducer - Throw Shade Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

10
Two Face
L'Rain
00:04:06

Jake Aron, Mixer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Andrew Lappin, Producer, Mixer, CoProducer, TrackingEngineer - Quinton Brock, Composer - Ben Chapoteau-Katz, Producer, CoProducer - Slauson Malone, Producer, AdditionalStudioProducer - L'Rain, MainArtist - Taja Cheek, Composer, Producer, CoProducer - Throw Shade Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

11
Walk Through
L'Rain
00:00:17

Jake Aron, Mixer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Andrew Lappin, Producer, Mixer, CoProducer, TrackingEngineer - Ben Chapoteau-Katz, Producer, CoProducer - Slauson Malone, Producer, AdditionalStudioProducer - L'Rain, MainArtist - Taja Cheek, Composer, Producer, CoProducer - Throw Shade Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

12
I V
L'Rain
00:02:25

Jake Aron, Mixer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Andrew Lappin, Producer, Mixer, CoProducer, TrackingEngineer - Ben Chapoteau-Katz, Producer, CoProducer - Slauson Malone, Producer, AdditionalStudioProducer - L'Rain, MainArtist - Taja Cheek, Composer, Producer, CoProducer - Throw Shade Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

13
Need Be
L'Rain
00:01:01

Jake Aron, Mixer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Andrew Lappin, Producer, Mixer, CoProducer, TrackingEngineer - Ben Chapoteau-Katz, Producer, CoProducer - Slauson Malone, Producer, AdditionalStudioProducer - L'Rain, MainArtist - Taja Cheek, Composer, Producer, CoProducer - Throw Shade Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

14
Take Two
L'Rain
00:03:09

Jake Aron, Mixer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Andrew Lappin, Producer, Mixer, CoProducer, TrackingEngineer - Ben Chapoteau-Katz, Producer, CoProducer - Slauson Malone, Producer, AdditionalStudioProducer - L'Rain, MainArtist - Taja Cheek, Composer, Producer, CoProducer - Throw Shade Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

Album Description

In the summer of 2021, who of us is not exhausted by the world we’ve conjured into being? Who still believes a linear story can explain society’s trash-fire circumstances—whether the present rot, its misrepresentative history, or our own individualized grief? On her second L’Rain album, the singer-songwriter-conceptualist Taja Cheek addresses the weariness, while contemplating the process of forming unifying narratives about it. The resulting work is fractured psychedelic art-pop steeped in Black music traditions, but also a collage guided by notions that are, at once, sprawling and highly personal. Fatigue is a collection of songs, vignettes and transitions about what it means to be stuck inside the new roaring ’20s (with the humanist blues again), minus the pompous art aspirations of speaking for anyone but the thirtysomething Brooklynite. Which is funny, considering how many different voices Cheek uses to do so. Amidst a gorgeously mixed procession of symphonic bedroom-pop sonics, a litany of sampled friends, bystanders and back-up singers (including Jon Bap and Anna Wise) preach and pontificate, get caught in off-hand moments of exuberation, or in a crowd. From the sheer number of vocal tonalities, Fatigue feels like it is a work of group-subconsciousness, with Cheek’s voice and guitar its undeniable narrator. One of its most complete representations comes on the wonderfully mid-tempo "Find It" where the guitars and a chorus of voices unfurl a stately melody with a chorus ("Make a way out of no way") that attempts inspiration, but in context, actually questions such pop-psychology impulse. And yet when the latter half of "Find It" transitions to the pews of a church, there’s a singing reverend in the midst of eulogy, succeeding at inspiration ("All of my good days/ Outweigh my bad days") while an organ, a drum set and a chorus of voices build and explode all around him. In that moment, the fatigue at the album’s heart is fought with, and held at bay. Yet the feeling remains—that while we may not be alone in battling its effects, the struggle is infinite. © Piotr Orlov/Qobuz

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