Anyone's who's seen or heard the Rainy States knows that the really special thing about this slightly emo, R&B-inspired indie rock band is frontwoman Betsy Johnson's rich, earthy voice.
That said, the band's upcoming full-length, In Basement Air
, shows growth by the rest of the band, too. And Johnson's sultry croon certainly doesn't detract from the local four-piece's bass- and spiky guitar-led sound (courtesy of Betsy's bro, Benjamin, and fellow key-player Kevin Morgan, respectively). In fact, the deep, grounded quality of Johnson's voice both complements the band's jagged, rhythmic backdrops and sets the collective result apart.
The Rainy States are still pretty green, but they're growing up fast, as exemplified by the tighter bass and drum parts (compared the the band's demo and early live shows) on much of In Basement Air
—not to mention the confidence of more driving numbers like this particular track, album opener "Suddenly Electric."
Instead of approaching its songs timidly, the band owns the groove on this one: The bass: like a heartbeat! The drums: punchy and delicate all at once! The guitar: so perfectly '90s indie rock. And that voice: I just love it how the "oh" after "electric" kinda makes it sound like "suddenly electrical." Either way, there's a charge at work here.
The Rainy States' CD release show is Friday, Feb. 22, at Kelly's Olympian. 10 pm. Cover. 21+. Photo: giving drummer Kevin Van Geem a hand with his bow tie, from the band's MySpace.
The Rainy States on the web
The Rainy States on MySpace
WW's print story on the band