Earlier this year, we caught up with The Rayes, a Brooklyn-based indie band fronted by sisters Rebecca and Jordan Stobbe who had just dropped their EP, Two Legs. Now, they’re back with their latest single, “New Woman.”
For fans of Fleetwood Mac, boygenius, and fellow sister-act HAIM, “New Woman” has similar elements of desirability. Lush synths, delicate upper harmonies, and a melting-pot of genres such as folk-pop, new wave, and Americana are all present and accounted for in this new number.
With lyrics about yearning to be loved and invited to stay, “New Woman” was inspired by the COVID-19 lockdown in the group’s home base of New York. “It was yet another change and transition that was coming my way, and I didn’t want to face it alone. I was dying to find comfort; to be held. But I knew that just wasn’t in the cards for me, and all I could do was prepare myself for the storm. This song is about that journey through, and the dynamic contrast between the person in the midst of it, and the changed person on the other side, looking back,” Jordan told us.
The song starts with gentle, layered keyboard synths and eventually crescendos into a sincere, percussive groove that peaks at the line, “Sound of the birds don’t comfort me.” You can check out the band’s live-at-home version of the song here.
“New Woman” carries a relatively new sound for the group. Their earlier tunes, such as “Bitter Love” and “Ain’t No Way to Know” have a sound that seems to lean more 70s blues-rock-oriented. Their 2020 releases of “There Goes My Baby”, “For No One”, and their Two Legs EP have a fresh, new sound of chilled-out, psychedelic folk-pop.
But don’t be fooled, as those 60s and 70s influences are still there. In fact, some of the group’s biggest inspirations are the sounds of Led Zeppelin, Simon & Garfunkel, and the aforementioned Fleetwood Mac. Their newer sounds are simply wielding the energy of more contemporary artists, such as Waxahatchee and Aldous Harding.
Although “New Woman” is their first official release of the year, the band has stayed active on YouTube with their #1RAD (One Riff a Day) series and by uploading various covers, most recently of Harry Styles’ “To Be So Lonely.”
Whether it’s a studio release or a YouTube cover, The Rayes highlight soulful female-led vocals and harmonies, gritty guitar licks, and walking bass lines that act as a new take on the classic, vintage sound that we all know and love. “New Woman” is a comforting, familiar-sounding tune that, whether you’re a fan of music old or new, is sure to bring you joy.