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Review: Rae Morris – Unguarded

Since Rae Morris signed a recording contract on her eighteenth birthday, she has been teasing her loyal, yet ever-growing fanbase with her music, or so it seems, with each of her six EPs offering a tiny glimpse of what to expect from her debut album.

It’s almost as if Atlantic Records knew they had something special, yet didn’t want to unleash it to the world until she had matured. Now, aged 21, Rae Morris has released “Unguarded”, and it’s clear to see why she has been hotly tipped as one of the female artists to watch in 2015.

With production of the album coming from Ariel Rechtshaid (Haim, Charli XCX), Jim Eliot (Kylie Minogue, Ellie Goulding) and Fryars (Lily Allen), Unguarded tackles the subject of life-changing, character-building relationships and the highs and the lows that come as a result. Take “Skin” for example. The album-opener details the guilt of continuing a toxic love affair; a powerful introduction told through a rare integrity that emanates from the lofty chorus and sophisticated melody. Likewise, “Closer”, taken from the EP of the same name, focuses on Rae’s distance from her family and how that has made her more appreciative of her own identity as a result.

Female singer-songwriters are ten a penny in the music industry at the moment. However, Rae Morris stands out in this market thanks to an elegance in her vocals and a genuine honesty in her lyrics, which complements the pop flair with an almost perfection. This is particularly evident on “Love Again”, a graceful track about getting back on the horse, and the up-beat electro-pop single “Under The Shadows”.

The record also features a number of Rae Morris’ previous singles, including the incredibly moving piano-led ballad “Don’t Go”, the highly entrancing “Cold (ft. Fryars)” and the tantalising “Do You Even Know?” – a track she wrote in her shed in Blackpool.

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