Remy Sher is an eighteen-year-old singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles. Rain in LA is his second release – following his debut single from earlier this year into the world – and, I must say, it’s pretty cool. Pretty surprising too.
Press play and the first thing that hits you is that classic 70s songwriter slow groove: dry drums, droning organ chords, meaty wandering bass, and a piercing electric guitar. You think you know where it’s going, but you’re totally fine with it because, you know, it sounds great. Sure enough, in comes an acoustic guitar and Sher’s smooth, confident vocal to fill out the sound. So far, all good. That’s where it gets interesting, as before long Sher switches things up for the chorus by swerving the song off into double-time rock ‘n’ roll territory. On first listen I found myself caught out, but it really works and gives the track a real edge. I particularly like the tom-heavy drum roll that drops the track back into the verse. It’s a neat trick, and one that is used to great effect throughout.
Lyrically, Rain in LA treads the kind of line that you’d expect. It’s a breakup song full of metaphor (floods, landslides, rocks, and muddy water are all present) with the overarching theme laid down by the opening lyrics: “Stuck inside the house today / Haven’t seen the sun since you left LA / ‘Cause it’s been raining, oh raining / It ain’t as warm as it once was / ‘Cause when you left, all of the streets they started to flood / Oh they’re flooding...”
Overall this is a strong track that displays some really interesting choices, both in terms of the composition itself but also the arrangement. Taking cues from the likes of Dylan and Cash, it also kind of reminds me of the stuff on Tobias Jesso Jr’s Goon from a few years ago – taking those ‘classic’ elements and reassembling them into something new. Sher’s guitar playing is a joy too, with a great tone and some lovely lead parts – as well as those all-important authentic chords in the verses that stab like shards of glass on the two and the four. Having listened to his previous release, Better Days, it’s clear that Sher is an artist with no shortage of ideas and bucket loads of potential. If each release can build upon the last, then there’s every chance a lot more of us will be hearing Sher’s work before too long.