Toronto’s Allan Rayman is a master of the surprise drop, albeit without all the typical clout that has come to define the culture. Instead, there is an undeniable sense of artistry that has grown to envelop every action of Rayman’s. So much so that the artist’s continued enigmatic nature is developing into his own mythos. With that in mind, you can imagine our surprise and delight when we woke up to a new Allan Rayman project, Harry Hard-On.
The nine-song collection from the Toronto R&B artist sees him lending his experimental approach to the world of guitar-driven rock. The hypnotic R&B and blues undertones that have largely come to define Rayman largely remain, but they are trained on a musical project that one would expect from the likes of Interpol or The Kills. Opening on the slow-building “Peach,” which alludes to the death of a loved one, Rayman kicks off his welcomed returned in properly cinematic fashion. The budding tension of opening number is maintained throughout the nine-track run, never ceasing in intensity as Rayman weaves in and out of unexpected musical breaks and smoky vocal runs with a madman’s edge.
Through all its veiled metaphors and lyrical complexity, Harry Hard-On’s greatest feat is found in the sense of mystery that Rayman has cultivated over the years. In a typical release, the artist is ever-present, at times to an obstructing degree. In Harry Hard-On, Rayman’s penchant for crafting an inescapably ominous yet captivating atmosphere defines the project, while, at the same time, his audible silence towards avoiding press and exposition allow for a greater sense of creative expression. The end result is a project that could not have been created by anyone other than Rayman, but one that anyone can find their own connecting thread within.
Listen to Harry Hard-On below:
For more Allan Rayman, revisit our Rooftop Session with the enigmatic figure.