Jordan Rakei elevates his craft to thrilling new heights on The Loop

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Jordan Rakei elevates his craft to thrilling new heights on The Loop

jordan rakei
words by bryget chrisfield

This New Zealand-born, Brisbane-bred multi-talent relocated to the UK in his early twenties.

 Earlier this year, Jordan Rakei was announced as Abbey Road’s inaugural artist in residence. 

Rakei started writing The Loop when his son was just four months old. He immortalises the gift of parenthood in the autobiographical closer, A Little Life: “And so it came our greatest gift/ He shows me how life truly is/ The darkness fell right off the cliff/ What kind of garden of love is this?” 

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During Friend Or Foe, Rakei tries to make peace with friendship breakups, reminding listeners that even those mates who are only in our lives for a reason – or a season – shape our identity.

You know those endless, awe-inspiring key changes in Beyoncé’s Love On Top? Rakei’s vocal performance continuously ups the ante to similar effect throughout Hopes And Dreams.

Complex, but somehow never alienating, the effervescent, Radiohead-leaning Everything Everything positively shimmers. In Miracle, the backing choir’s “oo-oo” underswell brings a gentle soul realignment. 

His approach for album number five was boundless: what the song wants, the song shall have. Inspired by the old-school Motown style, The Loop was recorded live with a fuller-than-full band: 17 musicians and 5 additional singers are credited in the liner notes alongside his fine self.

Rakei also took on the role of musical director during recording sessions and you can actually hear the backing choir smiling while belting out the gospel-infused Freedom

Channelling his diverse influences – from Jeff Buckley to Radiohead, Stevie Wonder to Daniel Merriweather – The Loop is, unquestionably, Rakei’s most ambitious and instrumentally expansive work to date. Play it on loop.