Thursday, December 16th, 2021

L’Rain – Suck Teeth

There’s dramamine in the cabinet if you need it…


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[7.50]

Claire Biddles: L’Rain’s songs are cocoons of endless time, layers of real and possible pasts and futures. On “Suck Teeth”, she envisages potential motherhood and the “poison” that slips between genes, in conversation with a possible future son (“Your mother’s buried under life’s debris”) and her past self (“before I was fully nurtured”) at once. In line with her usual creative process, the song’s instrumentation is built around a field recording: this time, that of a clapping game. The effect is of two aspects of her self duetting, a co-existence of carefree play and introspection. The song is soothing in its rhythmic pulses, but still searching and uncertain in form. It’s a radically therapeutic unravelling — a fear that sits with itself, tries to find comfort in acceptance. It’s self sufficient too, in the way that L’Rain answers her own anguished non-verbal sounds. Of all the music that emulates (or critiques) the process of therapy, L’Rain’s feels the most realistic because it is perpetually unresolved, surrounded by shadows and projections of itself.
[9]

Ian Mathers: The delirious and, indeed, often fatigued swirl of L’Rain’s music somehow sounds both like what I should have been listening to in the 90s and simultaneously like something that will feel fresh and new ten years from now. So maybe I’m just saying it is intensely, vividly of our current moment (and the ties it has both to the past and stretching towards the future). “Suck Teeth” in particular features a bass line that nods towards sleep the way I do on evenings when I should just get up from my desk and stop trying to write and get some damn rest, which only increases the almost synesthesistic feeling of the muzzy unreality of my insomnia I get from some of it. Any number of borders start blurring and disincorporating, but there’s something comforting about even that.
[10]

Nortey Dowuona: That sax, man. That goddamn sax.
[10]

Andrew Karpan: A song that wafts elegantly into the night air of central Brooklyn like an Erykah Badu record, vinyl long since warped by a long hot summer of consistent replay. 
[6]

Alfred Soto: A queasy listening experience: the cooing, the way the guitars slosh against the thin wall of rhythm. Tentativeness as the pont.
[6]

Vikram Joseph: Gleaming, queasy, disorientating — “Suck Teeth” makes you decide whether to squint to find the patterns in it, or let it wash around you and hope that they find you. Neither has happened yet, to be clear, but there’s something both plush and unsettling about its fragmentary blend of jazz and trip-hop, like an expensive hotel in a weird dream.
[5]

Alex Clifton: I’m not personally into super-woozy music like this, mostly because it feels like my brain is melting and I’m not following along properly. Having said that, “Suck Teeth” is creative and like nothing else I’ve heard this year for sure, and that alone deserves props. If the production were a little more toned down I’d enjoy this rather than just admiring it for what it is.
[5]

Iain Mew: It’s easy to see “I can’t remember it after it finishes” used as a criticism, but with “Suck Teeth” it feels like a fundamental part of its appeal. It’s such a rich, enveloping, oceanic experience that it evades mere memory. It remains completely, remarkably comfortable but without ever fully settling into any graspable form. The only thing I can think of with a comparable combination of vibes is Lianne La Havas covering Radiohead, and “Suck Teeth” makes that look newly ordinary.
[9]

Reader average: [8] (1 vote)

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